New Health Affairs issue focuses on high-cost, high-need patients, ACA and Medicaid expansion impacts

CSG-ERC policymakers will find a wealth of helpful information in this month’s Health Affairs issue. Several papers address the challenge of caring for high-cost, high-need patients, a significant problem for state budgets that we tackled in an ERC webinar with Clemons Hong last year. Issues and findings in Health Affairs include substance use, supportive housing for the homeless, mental illness, and lessons from a successful California program of care coordination and home visiting. Papers on ACA Medicaid expansions include a study finding no impact on employment in states that expanded the program and another finding similar improvements in access to care in states with either traditional or private insurance-based Medicaid expansions over states that chose not to expand coverage. Other articles include a study finding that the ACA has reduced uninsured hospital admissions, little evidence of a feared increase in part time employment, and that the law has improved access to care and affordability but much remains to be done. The issue also includes an important article about variation in the effectiveness in Medicaid tobacco cessation care between states, reviewed in more depth in our last blog.