Medicaid Expansion and Rates of Opioid-Related Hospital Use

Research paper by Khokhar A, Mehta AV, John K.

Indexed on: 10 Oct '20Published on: 01 Oct '20Published in: JAMA internal medicine


To the Editor We have read with great interest the article by Wen et al titled “Association Between Medicaid Expansion and Rates of Opioid-Related Hospital Use.” We want to commend Wen et al for taking the time to investigate the important topic of the effects of Medicaid expansion and its consequences for emergency department (ED) and inpatient admissions of patients who have opioid use disorder. This case-control study looked at more than 1000 ED admissions and more than 2000 opioid-related inpatient hospitalizations from 2005 to 2017, and found that inpatient opioid-related hospitalizations significantly decreased after the 2014 expansion of Medicaid. This decrease was accentuated in areas with an increased number of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment resources, such as Drug Addiction Treatment Act–waivered physicians and medication-assisted treatment facilities.