Medicaid Expansion Has Also Helped Hospitals That Care for the Poor

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<p>One of the lesser-known aims of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion was to reduce the uncompensated care burden for hospitals treating uninsured or indigent patients. A new Commonwealth Fund analysis conducted by researchers with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has found that, in this respect, the expansion has worked according to plan. </p><p>For hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility, each dollar of uncompensated care costs incurred in 2013 was reduced by 41 cents by 2015. Authors David Dranove, Craig Garthwaite, and Christopher Ody say this translates into a $6.2 billion reduction in uncompensated care costs across all hospitals in the expansion states. Safety-net hospitals, which have the highest total uncompensated care costs, have seen the greatest financial benefits.</p>
<p>If those states that haven’t yet expanded Medicaid were to reverse course, uncompensated care costs would fall by a similar amount, the analysis finds.</p> Read the study