ACA progress according to Athena and RWJ

Note the big jump in Medicaid in expansion states
Note the big jump in Medicaid in expansion states

Healthcare wonks everywhere are excited that Athenahealth and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have teamed up to analyze and publish a physician-level view of the impact of the Affordable Care Act. Healthcare industry veteran Josh Gray (whom I first met 20+ years ago at Boston Consulting Group) is leading the effort for Athena. ACAView mines encounter data from tens of thousands of Athenahealth physician customers to answer questions such as:

  • Are physicians seeing more new patients in their practices?
  • Were new patients sicker than new patients in the past?
  • What percent of previously uninsured patients obtained insurance in 2014?
  • How did the situation vary between states that expanded Medicaid and those that did not?

The analysis largely demonstrates that ACA implementation is going smoothly and that non-Medicaid expansion states are shooting themselves in the foot. In particular:

  • Physicians are not being overwhelmed with new patients
  • New patients are not sicker
  • Uninsured rates have fallen significantly everywhere, with much sharper drops in Medicaid expansion states
  • The ACA has eliminated age disparities in coverage

Check out the full report for the details.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

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