Impact of the affordable care act's medicaid expansion on burn outcomes and disposition

Jamie Oh, Amali Fernando, Stephen Sibbett, Gretchen J. Carrougher, Barclay T. Stewart, Samuel P. Mandell, Tam N. Pham, Nicole S. Gibran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: We aimed to analyze the impact of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion on clinical outcomes and patient disposition after burn injury. We hypothesized that increased insurance coverage results in improved outcomes and higher rates of discharge to inpatient rehabilitation. Methods: We reviewed the University of Washington Regional Burn Center registry data for patients admitted from 2011 to 2018. Patients were grouped into two categories: before (2011–2013) and after (2015−2018) Medicaid expansion; we excluded 2014 data to serve as a washout period. Outcomes assessed included length of hospital stay, patient disposition, and mortality. Multivariable logistic and linear regression models with covariates for sex, age, burn size, ethnicity ethnicity, distance from burn center, etiology of burn, and presence of inhalation injury were used to determine the impact of Medicaid expansion on outcomes. Results: Rates of uninsured patients decreased while Medicaid coverage increased. Despite increased median burn size after Medicaid expansion, inpatient mortality rates did not change, but average acute care length of stay increased. More patients were discharged to rehabilitation centers. Conclusions: Our study corroborates prior findings of increased insurance coverage since Medicaid expansion. Increased insurance coverage is associated with higher rates of discharge to inpatient rehabilitation programs after burn injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Affordable care act
  • Burn injury
  • Burn outcome
  • Disposition
  • Medicaid expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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