Insurance Expansion Lowers Incidence of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests

Medicaid expansion significantly reduced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in middle-aged and elderly populations in the U.S., according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Eric C. Stecker, MD, MPH, FACC, et al., analyzed the effect of health insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) by reviewing emergency medical service records within Multnomah County, OR, for dispatches with a primary or secondary impression of cardiac arrest, between 2011 – 2012 (pre-expansion) and 2014 – 2015 (post- expansion).

The results of the study showed that the incidence of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in middle-aged adults (45 – 64 years old) decreased by 17 percent following the implementation of ACA, specifically the expansion of Medicaid. There was no change in incidences of cardiac arrest among the elderly population (>65 years old).

The authors of the study note that "prior studies showing notable improvements in cardiovascular care after individuals gain access to insurance support the potential for insurance expansion to improve cardiovascular outcomes." They add that "future studies using this methodology could be used to evaluate similarities or differences in the effects of private insurance expansion and Medicaid expansion."


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