Among people with private health insurance, those living in counties with high uninsured rates pay more for hospital emergency department (ED) visits than people living in counties with lower uninsured rates, new AHRQ research has found. The higher costs for ED visits in counties with high uninsured rates were not found in people who were covered by Medicare or Medicaid or who were uninsured. AHRQ researchers reviewed more than 26,000 ED visits nationwide between 2009 and 2013 to examine the validity of the so-called “spillover effect,” which maintains that the cost of treating uninsured patients could affect health care costs for those with private health insurance. They estimated that a one percentage-point increase in a county’s uninsured rate was associated with a $20 increase in an average ED payment. The analysis was based on data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, as well as from the U.S. Census Bureau. Researchers cautioned that their findings are tentative and require further study. Their findings appear in the February 2017 issue of Health Services Research. Access the abstract.
Health Serv Res. 2017 Feb 7. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12659. [Epub ahead of print]
Do People with Health Insurance Coverage Who Live in Areas with High Uninsurance Rates Pay More for Emergency Department Visits?
© Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Health care costs; health care financing/insurance/premiums; health care organizations and systems
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