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The $125 billion question: How will the ACA affect cancer survivors?
Date:1/23/2014

have lower surgical mortality in safety-net hospitals than non-safety-net hospitals.

Safety net providers receive disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding, which offsets the cost of care to uninsured patients and mitigates the underpayments by Medicaid. The ACA reduces DSH funding for safety net providers because many uninsured people will now be insured through the ACA. But, the increase in coverage among uninsured patients will be smaller than initially anticipated in states that don't expand Medicaid.

"Although the ACA will expand health insurance coverage to many who are currently uninsured, there will still be uninsured people remaining. The ACA will take away subsidies that offer support to safety net hospitals that provide medical care to those left uninsured. Financial support will be needed for these institutions following the implementation of the ACA in order for them to continue to afford to provide care for those remaining uninsured," says Sabik, principal investigator on the study.

Future studies and continued efforts

Overall, Massey's research has found that the ACA will have a positive impact on patients by allowing for increased life-saving preventive care and the option to take time off work to focus on cancer treatment and recovery without fear of losing health insurance. But, the research also concluded that the "choice overload" of health insurance exchange options can be confusing and hard to understand for both patients and doctors, and although the ACA will reduce the number of uninsured, it will also lessen the support of safety net providers and, therefore, the care they can afford to provide to those patients who remain uninsured.

As the ACA is implemented further, Massey researchers will continue studying and reporting on the full impact of the ACA on cancer survivors and providers.


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Contact: Alaina Schneider
afschneider@vcu.edu
804-628-4578
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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