States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2014 and 2015 saw greater reductions in discharge rates, inpatient days and hospital costs related to ambulatory care-sensitive conditions than did non-expansion states, according to a study published yesterday in Health Affairs. “Hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions indicate barriers to care outside of inpatient settings,” the authors note. “We found that Medicaid expansions under the Affordable Care Act were associated with meaningful reductions in these hospitalizations, which suggests the potential of Medicaid expansions to reduce the need for preventable hospitalizations in vulnerable populations and produce cost savings for the U.S. health care system.”

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