Panel Paper: Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions and the Impact on Nurses

Friday, November 9, 2018
Wilson A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Michael DiNardi, University of Connecticut

Shortages in healthcare labor markets and decreases in quality of care were major concerns voiced by critics of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I use the 2014 expansions in Medicaid coverage as a plausibly exogenous increase in the demand for nurses to estimate the effects on nurse labor market outcomes and quality of care measures. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, I find the 2014 Medicaid expansions increased nurses’ weekly hours worked by 1.5 percent (0.55 hours). Increases in hours worked are larger for rural nurses, likely due to larger increases in insurance coverage in rural areas from the Medicaid expansions. In disaggregated analyses, employment of licensed practical nurses increased by 15 percent, but I do not find any statistically significant effects on registered nurse employment. Weekly hours worked increased by 2.4 percent (0.89 hours) for licensed practical nurses and by 1.2 percent for registered nurses (0.46 hours). I do not find any consistent negative effects on quality of care as measured by patient ratings of nursing care and hospital-acquired infection rates.

Full Paper: