Medicaid Managed Care in Florida and Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Preventable Emergency Department Visits

Tianyan Hu, Karoline Mortensen, Jie Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: In an effort to address health care spending growth, coordinate care, and improve access to primary care in the Medicaid program, Florida implemented the Statewide Mandatory Managed Care (SMMC) program in May of 2014. Objectives: The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of implementation of mandatory managed care in Medicaid on the preventable emergency department (ED) utilizations, with a focus on racial/ethnic minorities. Research Design: The primary data source is the universe of Florida ED visit and inpatient discharge data from 2010 to 2015, maintained by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. We adopt the New York University Billing's ED Classification Algorithm to create measures for preventable ED visits. Using difference-in-differences estimation, we examine preventable ED visits for Florida residents aged 18-64 with a primary payer of Medicaid (treatment group) and private health insurance (control group) pre-SMMC and post-SMMC reform. Results: Our findings show that SMMC is statistically significantly associated with more reductions in preventable ED visits among non-Hispanic African American (incidence rate ratio=0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.70-0.94) and Hispanic (incidence rate ratio=0.72; 95% CI, 0.60-0.87) Medicaid enrollees relative to their white counterparts. We also find significant reduction of racial/ethnic disparities only in counties with above median preimplementation Medicaid managed care penetration rate. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that implementation of Medicaid mandatory managed care in Florida is associated with reduced racial/ethnic disparities in preventable ED visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018


  • Medicaid managed care
  • billings ED classification algorithm
  • preventable ED visits
  • racial and ethnic disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Medicaid Managed Care in Florida and Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Preventable Emergency Department Visits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this