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Medicaid expansion in Montana led to a drop in emergency room visits, report says

Emergency Department
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A report from the Montana Healthcare Foundation found that enrollees in Montana’s Medicaid expansion program needed less emergency care after having health coverage.

A new report shows that people's need for emergency room care declined with the amount of time they were enrolled in Montana’s health coverage program for low-income adults.

The report from the Montana Healthcare Foundation found that enrollees in Montana’s Medicaid expansion program needed less emergency care after having health coverage.

For those enrolled for one year to three years, the study shows emergency room visit declines range from 10% to 30%, with people using outpatient services instead of the ER.

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Montana Health Care Foundation
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Medicaid Expansion Enrollees With an Emergency Department Visit by Year of Enrollment

“This is exactly what we would hope to see because people are able to get into primary care visits, get preventive services," said Montana Healthcare Foundation CEO Aaron Wernham.

More than100,000 Montanans have health coverage through the state’s Medicaid expansion program.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio

Erica Zurek