Critical Condition's Avik Roy explains the study's findings:
They then examined three measurements of surgical outcome quality: the rate of in-hospital mortality; average length of stay in the hospital (longer stays in the hospital are a marker of poorer outcomes); and total costs.Roy cites four other studies showing similar underperformance for Medicaid and/or Medicare patients.
source: Critical Condition via American Surgical Association
The in-hospital death rate for surgical patients with private insurance was 1.3%. Medicare, uninsured, and Medicaid patients were 54%, 74%, and 97% more likely to die than those with private insurance.
The average length of stay in the hospital was 7.38 days for those with private insurance; on an adjusted basis, those with Medicare stayed 19% longer; the uninsured stayed 5% shorter; and those with Medicaid stayed 42% longer.
Total costs per patient were $63,057 for private insurance; Medicare patients cost 10% more; uninsured patients 4% more; and Medicaid patients 26% more.
In summary: Medicaid patients were almost twice as likely to die as those with private insurance; their hospital stays were 42% longer, and cost 26% more. Compared to those without health insurance, Medicaid patients were 13% more likely to die, stayed in the hospital for 50% longer, and cost 20% more.
I'm unsurprised. But it's probably too late to do much about it until Republicans control Congress.