Comparison of Management and Outcomes of Acute Heart Failure Hospitalization in Medicaid Beneficiaries Versus Privately Insured Individuals



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American Journal of Cardiology


Medicaid expansion in terms of its eligibility and federal funding has led to improved healthcare access in previously uninsured individuals. However, proposed lower Medicaid rates have unintentionally led to lower utilization of substantial life-saving therapies and poor outcomes compared with private insurance. We examined heart failure (HF) management, in-hospital mortality, and resource utilization in Medicaid and privately insured individuals hospitalized with HF. The authors screened the National Inpatient Sample from January 2012 to September 2015 for HF hospitalizations with Medicaid or private insurance as the primary payer. The authors identified a total of 226,265 and 292,070 patients with HF hospitalizations with Medicaid and private insurance, respectively. In propensity-matched cohort of 155,790 hospitalizations in each group, Medicaid beneficiaries with HF hospitalization had lower rates of intra-aortic balloon pump/left ventricular assist device/extracorporeal membrane oxygenation utilization (0.6 vs 0.9%; odds ratio [OR] 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59 to 0.69), heart transplantation (0.15 vs 0.44%; OR 0.35; 95% CI 0.30 to 0.40), implantable cardioverter-defibrillator/cardiac resynchronization therapy/permanent pacemaker (3.3 vs 3.9%; OR 0.84; 95% CI 0.81 to 0.87), and had higher rates of in-hospital mortality (1.9 vs 1.7%; OR 1.12; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.19) compared with privately insured individuals (p <0.001 for both). In conclusion, Medicaid recipients with HF hospitalizations had a lower rate of device utilization, heart transplantation, and a higher rate of in-hospital mortality compared with the privately insured sector. Further studies are needed to explore and understand the variation in the outcomes of HF hospitalizations stratified by insurance status.

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