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J Surg Res. 2018 Dec;232:217-226. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2018.06.037. Epub 2018 Jul 11.

The Early Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Uninsured Patients Undergoing Emergency General Surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address: Alex.Chiu@Yale.edu.
2
Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; Department of Internal Medicine, National Clinician Scholars Program, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, National Clinician Scholars Program, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; Department of Internal Medicine, Section of General Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut; Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut.
4
Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Under the Affordable Care Act, eligibility for Medicaid coverage was expanded to all adults with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level in states that participated. We sought to examine the national impact Medicaid expansion has had on insurance coverage for patients undergoing emergency general surgery (EGS) and the cost burden to patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was used to identify adults ≥18 y old who underwent the 10 most burdensome EGS operations (defined as a combination of frequency, cost, and morbidity). Distribution of insurance type before and after Medicaid expansion and charges to uninsured patients was evaluated. Weighted averages were used to produce nationally representative estimates.

RESULTS:

A total of 6,847,169 patients were included. The percentage of uninsured EGS patients changed from 9.4% the year before Medicaid expansion to 7.0% after (P < 0.01), whereas the percentage of patients on Medicaid increased from 16.4% to 19.4% (P < 0.01). The cumulative charges to uninsured patients for EGS decreased from $1590 million before expansion to $1211 million after.

CONCLUSIONS:

In the first year of Medicaid expansion, the number of uninsured EGS patients dropped by 2.4%. The cost burden to uninsured EGS patients decreased by over $300 million.

KEYWORDS:

Emergency general surgery; Medicaid expansion; Uninsured

PMID:
30463721
DOI:
10.1016/j.jss.2018.06.037

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