Pa­tients in Mass. faced cost bar­ri­ers af­ter re­form

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Pa­tients who gained ac­cess to in­sur­ance as a re­sult of the health­care re­form law passed in Mas­sachusetts still faced cost bar­ri­ers in their ac­cess to care, ac­cord­ing to a study. The study, con­ducted by re­searchers at Har­vard Med­i­cal School, looked at 431 pa­tients ages 18 to 64 who re­ceived care at the emer­gency room in the state’s sec­ond­largest safety net hospi­tal be­tween July 25, 2009, and March 20, 2010. “These find­ings il­lus­trate that the in­sur­ance plans that most pre­vi­ously unin­sured pa­tients re­ceived in Mas­sachusetts as part of health­care re­form had a mixed ef­fect in terms of ac­cess to care,” Dr. Danny McCormick, the study’s lead au­thor and an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Har­vard Med­i­cal School, said in a news re­lease. The pa­tients who were in­sured by the pro­grams through which most of the unin­sured in Mas­sachusetts gained cov­er­age had “sim­i­lar or higher lev­els of ac­cess to and uti­liza­tion of out­pa­tient vis­its com­pared with the pri­vately in­sured, as well as sim­i­lar ac­cess to pre­ven­tive care.” How­ever, a greater num­ber of pa­tients who had Med­i­caid or Com­mon­wealth Care Type 1—a pro­gram with min­i­mal cost-shar­ing—said they de­layed or did not get a med­i­ca­tion and de­layed or did not get den­tal care as com­pared with pri­vately in­sured pa­tients. Those cov­ered through the Com­mon­wealth Care Type 2 or 3 pro­grams, which in­volve greater cost-shar­ing, “re­ported sig­nif­i­cantly more cost-re­lated bar­ri­ers to ob­tain­ing care than the pri­vately in­sured” and to see­ing a pri­mary-care physi­cian or a den­tal provider and ob­tain­ing med­i­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to the study’s authors.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.