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Medicaid eligibility and the incidence of ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations for children


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  • Kaestner, R.
  • Joyce, T.
  • Racine, A.


In this study we investigate the effect of Medicaid on children's health, as measured by the incidence of ambulatory care sensitive (ACS) hospitalizations in the USA. The use of ACS hospitalizations is a unique contribution of our study. ACS discharges are known to be sensitive to better primary care and greater medical intervention and are objective measures of children's health. The results of this analysis were mixed. We found relatively robust evidence that the Medicaid expansions decreased the incidence of ACS hospitalizations among children age 2-6 from very low-income areas. For other groups of children, our results were less consistent. There was some evidence, although not uniform, that the Medicaid expansions improved the health of children age 2-6 from what we refer to as near-poor areas, areas with a median family income between $25,000 and 30,000. For older children, age 7-9, we found little evidence that the Medicaid expansions improved their health.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 52 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 305-313

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:52:y:2001:i:2:p:305-313

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Keywords: Medicaid Health insurance Hospitalizations Utilization Child health USA;


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Cited by:
  1. Anna Aizer, 2007. "Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 400-415, August.
  2. Jonathan Meer & Harvey S. Rosen, 2002. "Insurance, Health, and the Utilization of Medical Services," Working Papers 117, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. Dhaval Dave & Robert Kaestner, 2009. "Health insurance and ex ante moral hazard: evidence from Medicare," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 367-390, December.
  4. Bruce D. Meyer & Laura R. Wherry, 2012. "Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility," NBER Working Papers 18309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alison Cuellar & Sara Markowitz, 2006. "Medicaid Policy Changes in Mental Health Care and Their Effect on Mental Health Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert Kaestner & Anthony T. Lo Sasso, 2012. "Does Seeing the Doctor More Often Keep You Out of the Hospital?," NBER Working Papers 18255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dafny, Leemore & Gruber, Jonathan, 2005. "Public insurance and child hospitalizations: access and efficiency effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 109-129, January.
  8. Ted Joyce & Andrew Racine, 2003. "Chip Shots: Association Between the State Children's Health Insurance Programs and Immunization Coverage and Delivery," NBER Working Papers 9831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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