Expanded Insurance Enrollments Did Not Impair Access to Care for People Previously Insured

Issue 565
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
May 2, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Hospital Costs for HIV Patients

The overall hospital costs of treating patients with HIV fell by 12 percent between 2006 and 2013, from $3.2 billion to $2.8 billion. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #206: HIV Hospital Stays in the United States, 2006–2013.)

Today's Headlines:

Expanded Insurance Enrollments Did Not Impair Access to Care for People Previously Insured

A new AHRQ study in the May issue of Health Affairs indicates that increases in the proportion of adults with insurance following passage of the Affordable Care Act did not affect access to care for adults who already had insurance. Researchers examined insurance coverage rates in local areas and found no consistent evidence of declines in several measures of access, including preventive care. The finding also held true for adults who lived in areas with shortages of health professionals and for Medicaid beneficiaries. Using data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, researchers studied the relationship between trends in local insurance rates and changes in access to care for adults who were continuously insured. The study covered 2008 to 2014, when insurance coverage changed for many reasons, including Medicaid expansions and coverage offered through federal Marketplaces. Access the abstract.  

States That Expanded Medicaid Saw Steeper Drops in Uninsurance Rates in 2014 and 2015

In states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the rate of low-income adults lacking health insurance dropped 7.5 percentage points more than the same measure in non-expansion states by 2015, according to an AHRQ study in the May issue of Health Affairs. Researchers analyzed federal survey results for more than 97,000 low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 64 who either lived in states that expanded Medicaid in 2014 or in states that did not expand Medicaid in either 2014 or 2015.  While low-income adults in all states gained health insurance between 2013 and 2015, the rate of uninsurance fell by 18.2 percentage points in expansion states and 10.7 percentage points in non-expansion states. Survey respondents in expansion states were also significantly more likely to report that their health insurance coverage was better in both 2014 and 2015, compared to respondents in non-expansion states.  Access the abstract.

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

AHRQ Webinar To Offer Guidance on Improving Visual Presentations of Health Information

Register now for an AHRQ webinar on May 30 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. ET on how to improve the visual presentation of health data for patients, doctors, nurses and other health professionals. A portion of the webinar will describe how images can be used to communicate test results to patients. Other topics will include how to effectively present electronic health record (EHR) clinical notes to clinicians and how clinicians can use navigators to document information within EHRs. Eligible professionals may earn 1.5 hours of free continuing education credits.

Featured Case Study: Patient Safety Organization Drives Inpatient Rehabilitation Quality Improvement

The Carolinas Rehabilitation Patient Safety Organization (PSO), which shared AHRQ tools with 34 freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation units across 19 states, reported that from 2010 to 2015 the rate of unassisted falls per 1,000 patient days improved by 19 percent. Improvement was also reported in the rates of restraint use, hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism, catheter-urinary tract infections, urinary catheter use and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Access the case study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Federal funding insulated state budgets from increased spending related to Medicaid expansion. Sommers BD, Gruber J. Health Aff (Millwood) 2017 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Comment on: decisional conflict, regret, and the burden of rational decision making. Misra-Hebert AD, Kattan MW. Med Decis Making 2017 Feb 1:272989X17691759. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Impact of a value-based formulary on medication utilization, health devices utilization, and expenditures. Yeung K, Basu A, Hansen RN, et al. Med Care 2017 Feb;55(2):191-8. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Quantification of baseline pupillary response and task-evoked pupillary response during constant and incremental task load. Mosaly PR, Mazur LM, Marks L. Ergonomics 2017 Feb 15:1-7. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Prostate cancer screening practices in a large, integrated health system: 2007-2014. Misra-Hebert AD, Hu B, Klein EA, et al. BJU Int 2017 Jan 31. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Statins for primary prevention in physically active individuals: do the risks outweigh the benefits? Mansi IA, English JL, Morris MJ, et al. J Sci Med Sport 2017 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print.] Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Allergy entry and deletion in the electronic health record. Blumenthal KG, Acker WW, Li Y, et al. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2017 Mar;118(3):380-1. Epub 2017 Jan 23. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Cognitive engineering and health informatics: applications and intersections. Hettinger AZ, Roth EM, Bisantz AM. J Biomed Inform 2017 Mar;67:21-33. Epub 2017 Jan 23. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed May 2017
Page originally created May 2017
Internet Citation: Expanded Insurance Enrollments Did Not Impair Access to Care for People Previously Insured. Content last reviewed May 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletter/e-newsletter/565.html