Study: Affordable Care Act May Lower ED Utilization, Inpatient Costs

Emergency department utilization and inpatient costs decreased for uninsured, low-income adults enrolled in a community-based primary care program, according to a study in Health Affairs.

Researchers found that for the adults continuously enrolled in the program, ED visits and inpatient admissions dropped and primary care visits increased during the study period. Inpatient costs decreased each year for this group, with a total cost savings of nearly 50 percent over three years of enrollment.

The researchers concluded that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will expand health insurance coverage to most uninsured Americans, may lower ED visits and costs over time.

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