A 2006 Massachusetts law that increased health insurance to near-universal levels has not significantly reduced overall heart attack readmission rates, or reduced the gaps in readmission rates between minorities and whites, according to an analysis presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.
Researchers examined 2004-2009 discharge data and 30-day readmission rates for heart attack by age, race and ethnicity. Patients were divided by age ― 18-64 years old (most affected by reform) and 65 and older (least affected).
The post-reform decrease in readmissions was similar in younger patients and older patients. For patients 18-64, pre- and post-reform heart attack readmission rates were 11.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, and for those 65 and older, 24.0 percent and 22.2 percent.
African-Americans under age 65 had higher readmission rates than whites, before and after reform, and rates between non-elderly and elderly adults, divided by race and ethnicity, were unaffected.
This suggests that the law has not significantly affected heart attack readmission rates by age or the difference in heart attack readmission rates by race, the researchers said.
Note: Presentation is 5 p.m. ET, Thursday, May 10, 2012. Author disclosures and funding information are on the abstracts.
Statements and conclusions of study authors presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding .
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