Noteworthy News

Medicaid Growth Doesn’t Mean Increased ER Use

A new study has found that increased enrollment in Medicaid does not necessarily result in increased use of hospital emergency rooms.

Nor does it necessarily contribute to difficulty obtaining care.iStock_000000522737XSmall

According to a study of ten states that eased their Medicaid eligibility requirements between 2000 and 2009, emergency room use among Medicaid patients decreased, as it did in those states that did not ease their eligibility requirements, and the proportion of Medicaid patients reporting difficulty getting access to care declined in expansion states while remaining unchanged in states that did not expand.

This is an issue that urban safety-net hospitals will watch closely in states that expand their Medicaid programs because Medicaid enrollment in the communities these hospitals serve is expected to increase considerably.The study, led by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health and the Brown University School of Public Health, was published in JAMA Internal Medicine and can be found here

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