• J. Am. Coll. Surg. · Dec 2021

    Association of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion with Trauma Outcomes and Access to Rehabilitation among Young Adults: Findings Overall, by Race/Ethnicity, and Community Income Level.

    • Gregory A Metzger, Lindsey Asti, John P Quinn, Deena J Chisolm, Henry Xiang, Katherine J Deans, and Jennifer N Cooper.
    • Center for Surgical Outcomes Research, Abigail Wexner Research Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH; Center for Child Health Equity and Outcomes Research, Abigail Wexner Research Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH; Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.
    • J. Am. Coll. Surg. 2021 Dec 1; 233 (6): 776-793.e16.

    BackgroundLow-income young adults disproportionately experience traumatic injury and poor trauma outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, in its first 4 years, on trauma care and outcomes in young adults, overall and by race, ethnicity, and ZIP code-level median income.Study DesignStatewide hospital discharge data from 5 states that did and 5 states that did not implement Medicaid expansion were used to perform difference-in-difference (DD) analyses. Changes in insurance coverage and outcomes from before (2011-2013) to after (2014-2017) Medicaid expansion and open enrollment were examined in trauma patients aged 19 to 44 years.ResultsMedicaid expansion was associated with a decrease in the percentage of uninsured patients (DD -16.5 percentage points; 95% CI, -17.1 to -15.9 percentage points). This decrease was larger among Black patients but smaller among Hispanic patients than White patients. It was also larger among patients from lower-income ZIP codes (p < 0.05 for all). Medicaid expansion was associated with an increase in discharge to inpatient rehabilitation (DD 0.6 percentage points; 95% CI, 0.2 to 0.9 percentage points). This increase was larger among patients from the lowest-compared with highest-income ZIP codes (p < 0.05). Medicaid expansion was not associated with changes in in-hospital mortality or readmission or return ED visit rates overall, but was associated with decreased in-hospital mortality among Black patients (DD -0.4 percentage points; 95% CI, -0.8 to -0.1 percentage points).ConclusionsThe Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, in its first 4 years, increased insurance coverage and access to rehabilitation among young adult trauma patients. It also reduced the socioeconomic disparity in inpatient rehabilitation access and the disparity in in-hospital mortality between Black and White patients.Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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