Repeal of the Affordable Care Act—and with it a likely elimination of Medicaid expansion—could prove particularly costly for hospitals that treat victims of gun violence, according to a new study.
The Urban Institute studied the cost of treating gun violence at hospitals in six states from 2010 to 2014.
States that expanded Medicaid saw the program pick up a larger share of the costs while most states that opted out of the expansion saw few changes to their payment mix. The average hospital cost per patient ranged from $9,000 to $18,000 among the states studied.
Early Medicaid expansion adopters such as Kentucky saw uncompensated care for gun victims fall from 54% in 2010 to 13% in 2014, with Medicaid accounting for 68% of coverage.
In Florida, the share of uncompensated hospital costs remained unchanged during the study period, increasing slightly from 31.2% in 2010 to 31.9% in 2014. Public coverage also remained flat, with Medicaid making up 40.4% of hospital costs in 2014 compared to 40.5% of costs in 2010. Had Florida expanded coverage, the state's hospitals would have received more payment.