First Edition: January 3, 2014

Published on January 3, 2014 at 8:19 PM · No Comments

NPR: Medicaid Expansion Boosted Emergency Room Visits In Oregon
Giving poor people health insurance, the belief was, would decrease their dependence on hospital emergency rooms by providing them access to more appropriate, lower-cost primary care. But a study published in the journal Science on Thursday finds that's not the case. When you give people Medicaid, it seems they use both more primary care and more emergency room services (Rovner, 1/2). 

Los Angeles Times: Expanding Medicaid Increases ER Visits In Oregon Study
An Oregon Medicaid expansion program found that low-income adults who were covered by government health insurance had visited  hospital emergency rooms 40% more often than other adults. The study, published online Thursday in the journal Science, comes at a time when many states are expanding Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. While federal and state policymakers have argued that expanding Medicaid would reduce costly and inefficient use of hospital emergency rooms by increasing access to primary healthcare, the Science study suggests this is not the case (Morin, 1/2).

The New York Times: Emergency Visits Seen Increasing With Health Law
Supporters of President Obama's health care law had predicted that expanding insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits because people would go to primary care doctors instead. But a rigorous new experiment in Oregon has raised questions about that assumption, finding that newly insured people actually went to the emergency room a good deal more often (Tavernise, 1/2).

The Washington Post's Wonkblog: Study: Expanding Medicaid Doesn't Reduce ER Trips. It Increases Them. 
As the health-care law expands Medicaid to cover millions more Americans, a new Harvard University study finds that enrollment in public program significantly increases enrollees' use of emergency departments. The research, published Thursday in the journal Science, showed a 40 percent increase in emergency department visits among those low-income adults in Oregon who gained Medicaid coverage in 2008 through a state lottery. This runs counter to some health-care law supporters' hope that Medicaid coverage would decrease this type of costly medical care, by making it easier for low income adults to see primary care providers (Kliff, 1/2). 

The Wall Street Journal: Putting The Uninsured On Medicaid Doesn't Cut ER Visits
Some supporters of President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul say that putting uninsured Americans on Medicaid will reduce costly emergency-room visits by giving them more access to care in other settings. But a new study found the reverse: A group of 10,000 low-income Oregon residents who recently obtained Medicaid coverage visited ERs 40% more often than those without insurance (Beck, 1/2).

Los Angeles Times: Compromise Remains Elusive On Health Law's Contraceptive Coverage
The intensifying Supreme Court clash over whether birth control should be required under President Obama's signature healthcare law has revealed just how deep divisions remain between administration officials and Catholic leaders over where to draw the line between religious freedom and women's reproductive rights (Savage and Levey, 1/2). 

The Washington Post: D.C. Program Reflects National Trend Toward Moving Older Americans Out Of Nursing Homes
For 60 years, Bobbie Jones, 88, had lived in the same Petworth rowhouse where she raised four children -; including one born in an upstairs bedroom -; and became a grandmother to 10 and a great-grandmother to nine. But last year, a stroke and a fall landed her in the hospital and then in a nursing home. In the past, a nursing home might have wound up being where she lived out the rest of her days. But through a new program that helps District residents receive care in their homes and communities, Jones was able to go home. She is among 58 people who have been relocated since the D.C. Office on Aging launched its Nursing Home Transition Program in April (Bahrampour, 1/2).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

 

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