March 24, 2022
A recent analysis of OCHIN Epic electronic health records (EHR) data* revealed that rates of childhood immunizations and screenings for cervical and colorectal cancer are higher among members in Medicaid expansion states, compared to members in non-expansion states – even though standard childhood immunizations and common cancer screening rates have declined overall in the OCHIN network during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, members in Medicaid expansion states saw smaller declines in these three measures throughout the pandemic, demonstrating the importance of Medicaid programs to reduce health disparities by ensuring increased access to primary and preventive care services.
Since nearly half of the 6.2 million active patients who receive health care from providers in the OCHIN network are covered through Medicaid and another quarter have no health insurance coverage at all, OCHIN has a unique opportunity to examine the value of Medicaid expansion for driving health equity and reducing health disparities.
*Data was analyzed for the period between January 2020 and December 2021
In partnership with Oregon Health & Science University, OCHIN helps lead a broad portfolio of research assessing the impacts of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in community-based primary care settings. These studies have helped demonstrate the positive effects of Medicaid expansion across a multitude of health services and outcomes; including cancer and chronic diseases, preventive care delivery, sexual and reproductive health, health disparities, and social determinants of health. In 2021, the Kaiser Family Foundation included 19 research papers from this portfolio in a report on the evidence for Medicaid expansion.
OCHIN’s latest network insights and ongoing research indicate that state Medicaid programs promote health equity through reliable medical coverage and access to coordinated, whole-person care that drives improved health outcomes. OCHIN continues to advocate for sustainable funding models to support community clinics and other providers in every state who offer access to in-person and virtual care for all patients, including the growing number of patients who are underinsured.