2 key findings from MetroHealth's Medicaid expansion pilot

Uninsured, poor patients who enrolled in a Medicaid-like insurance plan had better care and health outcomes than those who remained uninsured, according to a study recently published in Health Affairs.

The study primarily focused on the effect of MetroHealth Care Plus, which extended Medicaid coverage to over 28,000 residents in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, before the Medicaid expansion took place in the state.

Here are 2 key findings from the study.

  1. Across all enrollees, costs of care were 28.7 percent lower than the spending cap allowed by the government. Patients in the program were previously uninsured and were provided with primary care providers to assist in coordinating their care.
  2. Compared with uninsured patients, more Care Plus patients with diabetes improved on nationally endorsed quality of care standards, compared with the uninsured. The study examined the differences in care between 2012 and 2013 among 3,437 Care Plus patients with high blood pressure or diabetes and 1,150 uninsured patients with the same conditions. Care Plus patients with diabetes improved 13.2 percent percentage points more on quality of care standards than those who remained uninsured, and they improved 8.2 percent more on diabetes outcome measures.

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