Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Insurance does not equal health care

One part of the Affordable Care Act extended Medicaid benefits to millions of Americans.  One problem, however, is that patients with Medicaid insurance often have trouble finding doctors who will treat them.  The New York Times reports: Large numbers of doctors who are listed as serving Medicaid patients are not available to treat them, federal […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Medicaid Expansion States

Which states have decided to receive additional federal funds to expand the share of people they cover under Medicaid?  The Kaiser Family Foundation has the answer. Alabama Not Moving Forward at this Time Alaska  Not Moving Forward at this Time Arizona Implementing the Medicaid Expansion  Arkansas Implementing the Medicaid Expansion California  Implementing the Medicaid Expansion Colorado Implementing the Medicaid Expansion […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Treating Dual Eligibles

The PBS Newshour has an interesting story on the treatment of the 9 million dual-eligible beneficiaries in the US.  They discuss integrated care model in California, Cal MediConnect.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Docs benefiting from Medicaid Expansions

PwC’s Health Research Institute reports that times are good if you are a safety net provider in a state that expanded Medicaid coverage: Physicians, hospitals and health systems operating in the 26 states and the District of Columbia that pursued the option to broaden Medicaid coverage with federal dollars have seen a significant rise in […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Disparities in Schizophrenia Care

Do African Americans and Latinos receive the same quality care as Caucasians?  This is the question asked by Horvitz-Lennon et al. (2014). Quality of Care Before one can answer this question, one first has to define what “quality care” means.  The authors use the following definition for pharmacological indicators: Any use of antipsychotic drugs, Conditional on […]

Read the rest of this entry »

ACA, Medicaid Enrollment and the Woodwork Effect

The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act with one major exception; it declared that states did not have to expand their Medicaid eligibility rules. However, the ACA may have indirectly increased Medicaid enrollment even in States that did not change their eligilbity rules. Avalere Health reports that: 17 of the 26 states that did not […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Wisconsin’s Unique Medicaid Non-Expansion

The Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act was legal with one exception: the federal government could not require states to increase Medicaid eligibility. Although States were not required to make Medicaid eligibility more generous, the did have an incentive to do so. The federal government will pay 90% of the cost of enrolling […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Use of Medicaid in old age

Many health care wonks know that Medicaid covers long-term care for poor elderly individuals.  However, the impact of Medicaid among the elderly may be underappreciated.  As a paper by Di Nardi, French and Jones, finds: Among respondents in the lowest quintile of lifetime income, nearly seventy percent are receiving Medicaid at age 74. Medicaid use […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The skewed Medicaid spending distribution

Many people claim Medicaid recipients are moochers, relying on the federal government.  Further, Medicaid costs states a lot of money.  Why don’t Medicaid programs just raise copays to reduce unnecessary use of medical care? The reason is that the vast majority of Medicaid beneficiaries don’t spend too much money.  Medicaid is expensive mostly due to […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Medicaid and HIX plans may overlap

Consumers in 30 states (60%) will have the option of at least one plan operating as both a qualified health plan (QHP) in the health insurance exchange (HIX) and as a Medicaid managed care organization (MMCO), according to an Avalere analysis. In these states, Medicaid beneficiaries may be able to enroll in a plan offered […]

Read the rest of this entry »