Research Roundup: Wages And Health Spending; Workplace Injuries; Mexico City Policy

This post was originally published on this site

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.

Health Affairs: Health Care Use And Spending Patterns Vary By Wage Level In Employer-Sponsored Plans
[W]e examined patterns of health care use and spending by wage category during 2014 among 42,936 employees of four self-insured employers enrolled in a private health insurance exchange. When demographics and other characteristics were controlled for, employees in the lowest-wage group had half the usage of preventive care (19 percent versus 38 percent), nearly twice the hospital admission rate (31 individuals per 1,000 versus 17 per 1,000), more than four times the rate of avoidable admissions (4.3 individuals per 1,000 versus 0.9 per 1,000), and more than three times the rate of emergency department visits (370 individuals per 1,000 versus 120 per 1,000) relative to top-wage-group earners. (Sherman et al., 2/6)

Health Affairs: Racial And Ethnic Differences In The Frequency Of Workplace Injuries And Prevalence Of Work-Related Disability
This study used national survey data to test for differences between members of minority groups and non-Hispanic white workers in the risk of workplace injuries and the prevalence of work-related disabilities. Non-Hispanic black workers and foreign-born Hispanic workers worked in jobs with the highest injury risk, on average, even after adjustment for education and sex. These elevated levels of workplace injury risk led to a significant increase in the prevalence of work-related disabilities for non-Hispanic black and foreign-born Hispanic workers. These findings suggest that disparities in economic opportunities expose members of minority groups to increased risk of workplace injury and disability. (Seabury, Terp and Boden, 2/6)

Health Affairs: Work, Health, And Insurance: A Shifting Landscape For Employers And Workers Alike
We examined the complex relationship among work, health, and health insurance …. Stagnation or deterioration in employment conditions and wages … has been accompanied by the erosion of health outcomes and employer-sponsored insurance coverage. … we present data and discuss the research that has established these links, and we assess the potential impact of policy responses to the evolving landscape of work and health. The expansion of insurance availability under the Affordable Care Act may have helped reduce the burden on employers to provide health insurance. However, the act’s encouragement of wellness programs has uncertain potential to help contain the rising costs of employer-sponsored health benefits. (Buchmueller and Valletta, 2/6)

Kaiser Family Foundation: Community Health Centers: Recent Growth And The Role Of The ACA
This brief draws on 2015 federal data on health centers and our 2016 Survey of Health Centers’ Experiences and Activities under the Affordable Care Act to provide a snapshot of health centers and their patients, analyze recent changes, and compare the experience of health centers in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states. … Key findings include: Health centers are a core source of primary care in the U.S., particularly for Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured people. … The Medicaid expansion strengthened health center finances and capacity. … Health centers report increased numbers of insured patients who are unable to pay their deductibles and cost-sharing. (Paradise et al., 1/18)

The Urban Institute: Access To Contraception In 2016 And What It Means To Women
This brief provides estimates of self-reported access to contraception among women at risk of unintended pregnancy and perceptions of the role of birth control in women’s lives. Most women are using contraception, the full cost of which is usually covered by health insurance or another program. Yet, some women report barriers to contraception access, many of which are related to cost. The majority of women agree that birth control has a positive effect on women’s lives. (Johnston, Courtot and Kenney, 1/23)

The Kaiser Family Foundation: The Mexico City Policy: An Explainer
On January 23, President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy via presidential memorandum. This explainer provides an overview of the policy’s history and how it has been applied in the past. … The policy requires foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to certify that they will not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning,” using funds from any source (including non-U.S. funds), as a condition for receiving U.S. government global family planning assistance and, as of Jan. 23, 2017, any other U.S. global health assistance. (1/23)

Here is a selection of news coverage of other recent research:

NBC/San Diego: Study Finds Medicare May Overpay Medicare Advantage Plans By $200B
A study at UCSD’s School of Medicine found that an incentive to increase patient risk scores could lead Medicare to overpay Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by roughly $200 billion over the next ten years. … The problem is they provide more benefits when they enroll a patient expected to use a large volume of medical services and less when plans enroll low risk patients. For example, spending is expected to be greater for an 85-year-old than for a 65-year-old, and greater for a patient with heart disease or diabetes, said university officials. (Pollack, 2/6)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.