Older Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions increased emergency department (ED) visits but decreased inpatient utilization throughout the course of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published in BMC Health Services Research.
Dr. SangNam Ahn, University of Memphis School of Public Health, led the study with other researchers including Dr. Mustafa Hussein of University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, Dr. Asos Mahmood of University of Memphis School of Public Health, and Dr. Matthew Lee Smith of Texas A&M School of Public Health.
The Affordable Care Act was enacted to improve access to care primarily among nonelderly and low-income populations; however, there were several key provisions to address determinants of emergency department (ED) and inpatient visits among Medicare beneficiaries over age 65 years.
In the current study, the researchers wanted to take stack of the overall changes in ED and inpatient visits among older Medicare beneficiaries, focusing on those with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs), and provide a nationally representative post-reform update.
The team of investigators found sizable increases in ED visits and nontrivial decreases in inpatient visits among older Medicare beneficiaries with MCCs.
The study findings underscore the continuing need for improving access to and quality of care among older adults with MCCs to decrease reliance on the ED and reduce preventable hospitalizations.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 14