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Inquiry. 1998-1999 Winter;35(4):380-8.

Medicaid and service use among homeless adults.

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Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


This paper examines the effect of Medicaid recipiency on the level and site of medical service use among homeless single men and women in New York City. Simple regressions of Medicaid on service use indicate that Medicaid significantly increases the likelihood that homeless individuals receive services, especially emergency and inpatient hospital services. In further analyses that control for health status, use instrumental variables procedures, and examine differences between a similar population in 1985 and 1987, we find that Medicaid neither increases nor diminishes access to emergency rooms. We find some evidence suggesting that Medicaid does improve access to nonhospital medical care.

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