New Study Reveals Big Drop in Charity Care in Medicaid Expansion States

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June 5, 2014;

A new study by the Colorado Hospital Association entitled “Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Hospital Volumes” has found that states that have participated in Medicaid expansion have seen an average 30 percent drop in the use of hospital charity care dollars, as compared to nonparticipating states, where there has been even a slight increase in the use of charity care.

Data from 30 states, half of which did and half of which did not participate in Medicaid Expansion, was analyzed. The states that expanded Medicaid saw their average charity care per hospital drop from $2.8 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2014. In nonparticipating states, $3.8 million average charity care was spent in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to $4.2 million in the first quarter of 2014. Concurrently, Medicaid charges in participating states increased by 29 percent in states that expanded Medicaid.

According to the study, this indicates that most new Medicaid enrollees were previously uninsured.—Ruth McCambridge