Impact of Medicaid Expansion and Firearm Legislation on Cost of Firearm Injuries. American journal of preventive medicine Brough, S. C., Tennakoon, L., Spitzer, S. A., Thomas, A., Forrester, J. D., Spain, D. A., Weiser, T. G. 2023


Firearm injury-related hospitalizations in the United States cost $900 million annually. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), government insurance programs covered 41% of costs. This study describes the effect of ACA Medicaid expansion and state level firearm legislation on coverage and costs for firearm injuries.This cross-sectional study included 35,854,586 hospitalizations from 27 states in 2013 and 2016. Data analyses were performed in 2022. Firearm injuries were classified by mechanism: assault, unintentional, self-harm, or undetermined. Impact of ACA expansion was determined using difference-in-differences analysis. Differences in per capita costs between states with stronger and weak firearm legislation were compared using univariable and multivariable analyses.The authors identified 31,451 initial firearm injury-related hospitalizations. In states with weak firearm legislation, hospitalization costs per 100,000 residents were higher from unintentional ($25,834; p=0.04) and self-inflicted injuries ($11,550; p=0.02); there were no state-level differences in assault or total per capita firearm-related hospitalization costs. ACA expansion increased government coverage of costs by 15 percentage points (95% CI 3-29) and decreased costs to uninsured/self-pay by 14 percentage points (95% CI 6-21). In 2016, states with weak firearm legislation and no ACA expansion had the highest proportion of hospitalization costs attributed to uninsured/self-pay patients (24%, 95% CI 15-34).ACA expansion increased government coverage of hospitalizations for firearm injuries. Unintentional and self-harm costs were significantly higher for states with weak firearm legislation. States with weak firearm legislation that did not expand Medicaid had highest proportion of uninsured/self-pay patients.Economic & Value Based Evaluations, Level III.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.08.011

View details for PubMedID 37582417