As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states were given the option of expanding Medicaid coverage to include adults younger than age 65 years with income at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. Although this expansion was intended to provide health care coverage to an estimated 20 million Americans, several studies have shown increased coverage does not equate to increased access to care by specialty providers.
We queried the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database and identified all patients who underwent the 10 most common elective orthopaedic surgeries from January 1, 2012, through March 31, 2016. Medicaid monthly enrollment for the 4-year study period was obtained from NY Department of Health Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Reports.
Our query identified 700,159 patients who underwent the investigated orthopaedic surgeries. Of these, 60,786 were Medicaid recipients. During the 4-year study period, Medicaid enrollment and the number of procedures reimbursed by Medicaid increased significantly (P
< 0.001 for both).
Affordable Care Act–supported Medicaid expansion was associated with an increase in Medicaid enrollment and a concomitant increase in the utilization of orthopaedic surgery by Medicaid beneficiaries in New York State.