Louisiana Medicaid patients use emergency rooms more, but not Medicaid expansion patients

Health and Medical

(The Advertiser) – (11/21/19) Louisiana’s Medicaid population has been using emergency rooms more frequently for health care, far surpassing the 2012 rate for the higher-cost medical services. But those recently enrolled under Medicaid expansion appear to be going against that trend.

According to the Louisiana Medicaid 2018 Annual Report, Medicaid beneficiaries’ use of emergency departments has increased from 2015 to 2017 on all five of the state’s Medicaid plans — Aetna, Healthy Blue, AmeriHealth Caritas, Louisiana Healthcare Connections and United Healthcare Community.

The Healthy Louisiana average was 71.6 visits per 1,000 member months in 2015 and increased to 81.09 in 2017.

“The utilization of (emergency department) visits for non-emergent care significantly increases costs,” the report says. “It is important to assess utilization and promote primary care and outpatient visits for non-emergencies.”

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