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Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Hospital Volumes and Charity Care

UPDATE: See 2nd quarter 2014 report at http://www.cha.com/Documents/CHA-Study/FINAL-CHA-Medicaid-Expansion-Study-Q2-Sept-2014.aspx

A preliminary study from the Colorado Hospital Association [CHA] has found the proportion of Medicaid patient volume grew substantially, while the proportion of self-pay and overall charity care significantly declined in the states that expanded Medicaid. Similar changes did not occur in the states without Medicaid expansion.

The study analyzed first quarter 2014 data from 465 hospitals from 30 states — 15 states with Medicaid expansion and 15 without — and compared it with first quarter 2013.

CHA found a 30% drop from one year ago in average charity care per hospital in expansion states, falling from $2.8 million to 1.9 million. The average charity care amount per hospital in non-expansion states grew from $3.8 million to $4.2 million during the same period, a change within normal variations.

This early data shows noteworthy changes due to Medicaid expansion, but further monitoring is needed to see if this trend will continue.

Source: Center for Health Information and Data Analytics. Impact of Medicaid expansion on hospital volumes. Colorado Hospital Association, June 2014. http://www.cha.com/Documents/Press-Releases/CHA-Medicaid-Expansion-Study-June-2014.aspx

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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