An issue brief from The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) offers a fact check that may change your thinking about Medicaid patients who use the ED (emergency department) around the nation and in your community.
MACPAC is a non-partisan, federal agency charged with providing policy and data analysis to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP, and for making recommendations to Congress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the states on a wide range of issues affecting these programs.
In a July 2014 publication called “MAC Facts” an agency study revealed Medicaid enrollees use the ED more than privately insured or uninsured persons, although there is little evidence of widespread inappropriate use of the ED.
Research also points out Medicaid enrollees visit the emergency department appropriately, like most patients, but they have generally more complex health needs and less access to primary care than their privately insured counterparts.
“MACPAC found that non-urgent visits accounted for just 10 percent of Medicaid visits to the ER, which is very close to that of the general population: about 8 percent,” said Alex Rosenau, D.O., president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “Efforts by various states to deny payment for Medicaid visits to emergency departments are dangerous and wrong.”
Find the report Revisiting Emergency Department Use in Medicaid.