Rural Health Policy Project

Beyond the Reduction in Uncompensated Care: Medicaid Expansion Is Having a Positive Impact on Safety Net Hospitals and Clinics

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More than two years after the onset of expanded Medicaid coverage, significant differences are emerging between states that opted to expand Medicaid and those that did not. This report contains the findings of telephone interviews with eleven leaders of hospital systems and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in seven states. Three of the states where we conducted interviews had not expanded Medicaid (Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah) while the other four states had expanded Medicaid effective in 2014 (Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, and Nevada). The authors picked expansion and non-expansion states with common borders in order to better compare state experiences. They found the benefits of Medicaid expansion have been felt beyond the walls of the health care facilities and have had positive ripple effects throughout the community.

(Editor’s Note: You can hear the recording of our press call releasing the report here.)

Adam Searing is an Associate Professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families.