A recent analysis of over 150,000 hospital discharges shows that insurance plays a huge role in hospital mortality, length of stay, and costs among working-age Americans who are hospitalized.
The analysis of Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 years who are hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, or pneumonia was published today in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Compared with those who are privately insured, hospital mortality rates among AMI and stroke patients was significantly higher for the uninsured, at 52 percent 49 percent higher respectively, and 21 percent higher among Medicaid recipients with pneumonia.
In addition, length of stay was much higher for Medicaid recipients for all three conditions, while hospital costs were higher for Medicaid recipients for stroke and pneumonia victims, but not for AMI.
According to lead author Dr. Omar Hasan of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, " We hope that the results of our study will broach a national dialogue on whether provider sensitivity to insurance status or unmeasured sociodemographic and clinical prognostic factors are responsible for the observed disparities and stimulate additional research to find answers to these questions."