Affordable Care Act Provision Leads to More Efficient ED Use, New Study Suggests
According to a recent study, the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of coverage for dependents has increased the efficiency of medical care delivery by reducing non-urgent emergency department (ED) use among young adults. The study found that the Affordable Care Act’s dependent coverage provision, which allows young adults to stay on their parents’ private health plan until age 26, was associated with a modest decrease in the use of hospital EDs. The research team examined data from AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project for more than 17 million ED visits over a 5-year period (2007–2011) and found that the quarterly ED-visit rate decreased by a small but statistically significant amount (1.6 per 1,000 population) among young adults after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act provision.
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