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Uninsured Visits for Community Health Center Patients Down

Uninsured Visits for Community Health Center Patients Down

Tue, Sep 26, 2017

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- After implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the rates of uninsured visits decreased for all racial and ethnic groups, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Heather Angier, M.P.H., from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective observational study of visit payment type for community health center (CHC) patients aged 19 to 64 years. Electronic health record data from 10 states that expanded Medicaid and six states that did not, 359 CHCs, and 870,319 patients with more than 4 million visits were assessed.

The researchers found that uninsured visit rates decreased for all racial and ethnic groups after the ACA was implemented. Hispanic patients experienced the greatest increases in Medicaid-insured visit rates and the largest gains in privately insured visit rates in expansion states and nonexpansion states, respectively (rate ratios, 1.77 and 3.63). Non-Hispanic white patients had twice the magnitude of decrease in uninsured visits versus Hispanic patients in expansion states (difference-in-difference, 2.03); this relative change was more than twofold greater in expansion versus nonexpansion states (difference-in-difference-in-difference, 2.06).

"These findings suggest the need for continued and more equitable insurance expansion efforts to eliminate health insurance disparities," the authors write.

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