242520 Impact on Massachusetts children's access to healthcare as a result of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform

Monday, October 31, 2011

Linda Jiang, MPH , Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Issues: In 2006, Massachusetts enacted a healthcare reform law to cover their uninsured population. With regard to children's healthcare access, MassHealth expanded eligibility levels for children with family income levels of 300 percent of federal poverty line (FPL). This research examined the impact of Massachusetts's reform on children's healthcare access. Description: Data from the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), 2003 and 2007, were used to compare changes in children's healthcare access pre and 1-year post reform. NSCH data was evaluated using five potential, blended, and realized access measures. The two-proportion z-test (0.10 level) was used to compare the 2003 and 2007 children's access measures. Lessons Learned: One year after the implementation of health reform, children in Massachusetts were significantly less likely to be uninsured (p=0.0797) and in fair/poor health status (p=0.0611), and significantly more likely to have one or more preventive medical (p≈0.00) and dental visits (p=0.0004). The strongest access gains were attained by children with family income levels between 200-399 percent of FPL. The data findings were consistent with the MassHealth increase in children eligibility levels. Recommendations: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains several elements that are similar to that of the Massachusetts health reform. However, in comparison to other states, Massachusetts is not only a small and wealthy state but also the home to many academic research medical-centers. For states considerably similar to Massachusetts, lessons learned from the Massachusetts health reform can serve as a springboard for ideas in implementing the ACA with regard to children's healthcare.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the applicability of lessons learned from the Massachusetts health reform with regard to children's healthcare access in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) across various states 2. Differentiate between the three different types of healthcare access measures

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am a graduate student in the Health Policy and Management department at Emory University and am solely responsible for the research conducted on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.