Interruptions in Medicaid coverage associated with a higher rate of hospitalization
Epeius Biotechnologies announced today the results of Phase I/II and II studies of Rexin-G in chemotherapy-resistant metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and osteosarcoma, as presented by Dr. Sant P. Chawla, principal investigator, at the CTOS 14th annual meetings held in London UK on November 13-15, 2008. Patients received repeated infusions of Rexin-G i.v. over a period
Full Post: Epeius Biotechnologies announces results of Rexin-G in chem-resistant metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and osteosarcoma
Interruptions in Medicaid coverage are associated with a higher rate of hospitalization for conditions that can often be treated in an ambulatory care setting, including asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, according to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The analysis, which examines interrupted Medicaid coverage and hospitalization rates, finds that increased risk for hospitalization is highest in the first three months after an interruption in Medicaid coverage.
The study suggests that when states require enrollees to demonstrate eligibility on a more frequent basis, they may see an increase in hospitalizations for common health conditions: lacking insurance to cover the costs of primary care, many former Medicaid enrollees end up in hospitals and are then re-enrolled in Medicaid. The study of California adults, conducted by researchers at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) Medical Center and University of California San Francisco (UCSF), was supported by the Commonwealth Fund.
Federal rules require states to re-determine Medicaid beneficiary eligibility at least once every 12 months but some states do so more often. During most of the time of this study, 1998 to 2002, California-which has the largest Medicaid program in the U.S.-required beneficiaries to report on their eligibility every 3 months. California has since reduced the frequency of eligibility determination.
“Although states may attempt to save money in the short term by dropping Medicaid coverage for those who cannot keep up with frequent reporting requirements, this study shows that disruptions in coverage come at the risk of increased hospitalization for conditions that can typically be treated in a less expensive primary care setting,” said lead author Andrew B. Bindman, M.D., a professor of medicine at UCSF and chief of general internal medicine at SFGH.
The analysis of Medicaid enrollment and hospital discharge data for more than four million California adults examines the number of Medicaid beneficiaries who experienced interrupted coverage and their hospitalization rates between 1998 and 2002.
During the study period, one in six Medicaid beneficiaries in the U.S. resided in California. More than 62% of eligible beneficiaries experienced interruptions in their Medicaid coverage during the study period, with an average interruption of 25 months.
The study authors recommend that states implement policies to reduce the frequency of interruptions in Medicaid coverage, to help prevent health events that require hospitalization and thereby reduce high-cost hospital spending.
As more individuals lose jobs as the result of the current economy, states can expect to see an increase in the number of people enrolling in Medicaid. An increasing number of states, grappling with their own budget shortfalls, are assessing how frequently Medicaid beneficiaries should be required to demonstrate eligibility.
“Individuals are more likely to seek Medicaid coverage during an economic downturn-at the same time states are more likely to face budget shortfalls and are likely to seek ways to cut health care costs. States will need to ensure that people have access to the Medicaid program when they need it most,” said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced a jump in the jobless rate, from 6.8 percent in November to 7.2 percent in December. This indicates that there is further growth in the ranks of the uninsured. As many as half a million people may lose their health coverage as a result of last month’s job
Full Post: Potential health consequences of recession
About 10.9 million Americans under age 65 purchased individual health insurance policies at some point in 2006, but only 7 million were covered by these policies for the full year, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The 3.9 million individuals who had individual health insurance policies
Full Post: 10.9 million Americans under age 65 have individual health insurance
People with substance abuse disorders cost Medicaid hundreds of millions of dollars annually in medical care, suggesting that early interventions for substance abuse could not only improve outcomes but also save substantial amounts of money, according to a comprehensive study that examined records of nearly 150,000 people in six states. “Substance abuse probably costs Medicaid
Full Post: The impact of substance use disorders on medical expenditures for Medicaid beneficiaries with behavioral health disorders
A review of more than 4 million insured patients with private coverage and Medicaid, published in the The Journal of Pain showed that rates of opioid use did not differ widely between non-cancer pain conditions but there were higher rates of opioid use among Medicaid patients. In this study, researchers examined general trends in prescription
Full Post: Researchers examine trends in prescription opioid use for non-cancer pain
A study appearing in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that Medicare beneficiaries’ understanding of their healthcare benefits may affect their ability to access needed care effectively and could lead them to the delay or avoid seeking care. In the study, 2,997 White, Black and Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries from across the United States were
Full Post: Poor understanding of medicare leads to worse healthcare access