Who walks through the door? The effect of the uninsured on hospital use

Catherine G. McLaughlin, Karoline Mortensen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Hospitals are concerned about the implications of an increase in the number of uninsured people. Using data from the 1999 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), we calculate what percentage of hospital inpatient, emergency department, and outpatient visits are accounted for by uninsured people and predict how those shares would change under three different scenarios. We find that although the burden of the uninsured would remain a severe problem for some hospitals, it would not likely increase much for most of them. This finding reflects the relatively low utilization rates among those most likely to lose coverage: nonelderly, nonpregnant, and nondisabled workers and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-155
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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