Panel: How Can Policies Improve Health? Mapping from Policy Design to Health Outcomes
(Health Policy)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Wilson A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Robert Kaestner, University of Illinois, Chicago
Discussants:  Laura Wherry, University of California, Los Angeles and Gal Wettstein, Boston College

Effects of Expanded Insurance Coverage Options on Insurance Coverage, Access to Care, and Utilization for Workers without Access to Group Coverage
Sandra Decker1, Asako Moriya1 and Aparna Soni2, (1)Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, (2)Indiana University

Does Medicaid Expansion Improve Hospital Care Choices?
Joseph A Benitez1, E. Kathleen Adams2, Kenton Johnston3 and Edmund Becker2, (1)University of Louisville, (2)Emory University, (3)Saint Louis University

Trends in Awareness, Treatment and Control of Hypertension before Vs. after the Affordable Care Act
Rebecca Myerson and Tianyi Lu, University of Southern California

This session provides evidence for action by examining how public policies can improve health. Together, the four papers trace out a causal cascade from insurance eligibility policy to insurance take-up, to quantity and quality of health care used, to biomarker-measured control of chronic health conditions and reduction of avoidable hospitalizations.

The session begins by showing how the design of health care reforms can increase uptake of health insurance coverage and needed doctor visits among specific populations that previously lacked access to care, with a focus on workers lacking employer-sponsored insurance. A second paper examines whether changes in health insurance eligibility policy, namely Medicaid eligibility expansions, increased access to high-quality health providers among low-income patients by examining hospital choice. The next paper zooms in on the patient-provider relationship to examine whether policies that restrict provider behavior, namely prescription drug monitoring programs, can directly affect patient health by reducing opioid hospitalizations. Finally, the panel concludes by using new data on biomarker-measured health to map from Affordable Care Act implementation to patients’ awareness of health needs as well as treatment and control of their chronic conditions. The lessons gleaned from this step-by-step analysis can help policy-makers to improve the design of health policies for maximum health impact in the future.

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