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Does Medicaid Affect Patient Volume During COVID?

May 01, 2020 / 2 Comments / in medicaid, COVID / by Chip Hart

Executive summary: no, doesn't look like it.

I'd heard a couple suppositions the last few weeks about the pros and cons about being a heavy Medicaid practice right now.  "Medicaid plans have clear telemedicine payment rules" (which is definitely both very true and very false) or "Medicaid families don't pay as much attention to the shelter-at-home rules" (huh).  I figured I'd look.

I sliced and diced it multiple ways.  I looked at different weeks of the crisis so far.  Bottom line, it looks like this:

medicaid_scatter

For those who still remember their stats, I don't even need to tell you what I'm showing for you to get the picture, but I'm comparing normal Medicaid % to relative visit volume and that massive shotgun burst around the red line implies that there is little relationship between Medicaid volume and visit volume so far.

Yes, I could fine tune it by segregating states with better/worse Medicaid performance but that's somewhat subjective and sample size issues abound.  Absent better data or narratives, I'd say that Medicaid families and insured families are visiting their practices at the same relative rates they did before COVID.  Fight me!

Tags: medicaid, COVID

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