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The effect of changing state health policy on hospital uncompensated care

The effect of changing state health policy on hospital uncompensated care

Inquiry 37(3): 253-267

This paper examines the effect of changing state policy, such as Medicaid eligibility, payment generosity, and HMO enrollment on provision of hospital uncompensated care. Using national data from the American Hospital Association for the period 1990 through 1995, we find that not-for-profit and public hospitals' uncompensated care levels respond positively to Medicaid payment generosity, although the magnitude of the effect is small. Not-for-profit hospitals respond negatively to Medicaid HMO penetration. Public and for-profit hospitals respond negatively to increases in Medicaid eligibility. Results suggest that public insurance payment generosity is an effective but inefficient policy instrument for influencing uncompensated care among not-for-profit hospitals. Further, in localities with high HMO penetration or high penetration of for-profit hospitals, it may be necessary to establish explicit payments for care of the uninsured.

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Accession: 047617969

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11111283

DOI: 10.2307/29772900

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