Study to examine Affordable Care Act Impact in Kentucky

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has contracted with State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), a health policy research institute at the University of Minnesota, to study how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is impacting Kentuckians. Today, SHADAC released its initial health data snapshot.
“Insurance coverage, access, cost of care and experience with Medicaid expansion and the state insurance exchange, kynect, are all among the issues SHADAC is tracking,” said Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “This multiyear study from a nationally known independent source will provide valuable data to inform health policy decisions.”
Highlights of the initial health data snapshot include:
·       Kentucky’s 10.6 percentage point drop in the rate of uninsured residents far outpaced neighboring states, like Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia which averaged a 2.9 percentage point drop. The national decline in uninsured in the same timeframe was 4.2 percentage points.
·        Uncompensated hospital care, which reflects hospital care performed without payment, dropped substantially for both urban and rural hospitals in Kentucky.
·        Medicaid enrollment by region: 32% eastern Kentucky, 25% western Kentucky, 19% greater Louisville, 16% greater Lexington, 8% northern Kentucky.
·        During the quarter, Medicaid funded 9,314 breast cancer screenings, 4,586 Hepatitis C screenings, and thousands of other preventive services.
·        Kentucky Silver plans were selected by the majority (52%) of those on the kynect marketplace; 35-54 year olds made up the largest kynect group.
SHADAC is a health policy research center with a focus on state policy. The staff has a broad expertise, ranging from economics, statistics and evaluation, to sociology and journalism. SHADAC is passionate about the importance of using sound data to inform policy decisions, and strives to produce analyses that are rigorous and policy-relevant.
“Kentucky has been a lead state on increasing access to health insurance coverage and we are excited to be working with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky on this important study,” concluded Lynn Blewett, Director, SHADAC, and Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
During the study timeframe, SHADAC will develop quarterly snapshots. In the Spring of 2016, researchers will conduct a telephone survey to better understand the effects of ACA in Kentucky. The Foundation has invested more than $280,000 in this multi-year effort.