Monday, October 20, 2014

Is Medicaid-Associated Overuse of Emergency Departments Just A Temporary Surge?

Research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research suggests that increasing Medicaid dependency does not result in a secular increase in use of hospitals’ emergency departments (EDs). Rather, the jump in ED use is just pent-up demand being satisfied, which then drops off.

Sure, the people who sign up for Medicaid will consume a lot of medical care and then drop off. But they will also drop out of Medicaid until they need it again. Meanwhile, eligible people who become sick will sign up next month. It never stops.

And it certainly does not address the problem that Medicaid provides poor access to physicians. If it did, the newly covered would not have had to flood hospitals’ emergency departments.

Read the entire article at NCPA's Health Policy Blog.

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