Association of Medicaid expansion policy with outcomes in homeless patients requiring emergency general surgery

Document Type



General Surgery


Background: Medicaid expansion has reduced obstacles faced in receiving care. Emergency general surgery (EGS) is a clinical event where delays in appropriate care impact outcomes. Therefore, we assessed the association between non-Medicaid expansion policy and multiple outcomes in homeless patients requiring EGS.
Methods: We used 2014 State Inpatient Database to identify homeless individuals admitted with a primary EGS diagnosis who underwent an EGS procedure. States were divided into those that did and did not implement Medicaid expansion. Multivariable quantile regression was used to examine associations between non-Medicaid expansion states and (1) length of stay and (2) total index hospital charges within the homeless population. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the associations between non-Medicaid expansion and (1) mortality, (2) surgical complications, (3) discharge against medical advice, and (4) home healthcare.
Results: A total of 6930 homeless patients were identified. Of these, 435 (6.2%) were in non-expansion states. Non-Medicaid expansion was associated with higher charges (coef: $46,264, 95% CI 40,388-52,139). There were non-significant differences in mortality (OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.79-2.62; p = 0.2) or surgical complications (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.7-1.8; p = 0.4). However, homeless individuals living in non-expansion states did have higher odds of being discharged against medical advice (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.08-4.05; p = 0.02), and lower odds of receiving home healthcare (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.4-0.8; p = 0.01).
Conclusion: Homeless patients living in Medicaid expansion states had lower odds of being discharged against medical advice, higher likelihood of receiving home healthcare and overall lower total index hospital charges.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University

Publication ( Name of Journal)

World journal of surgery