Trends in Hospital Inpatient Admissions Following Early Medicaid Expansion in California

September 14, 2016

The study examined changes in inpatient utilization between 2010 and 2013 in California, following a Medicaid expansion and implementation of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program.

Purpose of study:   To examine whether expansions in health insurance coverage in California between 2010-2013 increased inpatient admissions at hospitals.

Findings:   (1) Coverage expansions increased inpatient admissions overall; (2) Coverage expansions did not increase admissions that were potentially preventable through increased access to primary care; (3) Potentially preventable admissions decreased at hospitals that were part of a major delivery and payment reform program, relative to other hospitals.

Conclusions:   Findings suggest that payment and delivery system reforms can help to offset the upward pressures on high-cost utilization arising from expansions in health insurance coverage.