Changes in Mortality After Massachusetts Health Care Reform: A Quasi-experimental Study

Source: Benjamin D. Sommers, Sharon K. Long, and Katherine Baicker, Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 160 No. 9, May 6, 2014
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From the abstract:
Background: The Massachusetts 2006 health care reform has been called a model for the Affordable Care Act. The law attained near-universal insurance coverage and increased access to care. Its effect on population health is less clear.

Objective: To determine whether the Massachusetts reform was associated with changes in all-cause mortality and mortality from causes amenable to health care.

Design: Comparison of mortality rates before and after reform in Massachusetts versus a control group with similar demographics and economic conditions. …..

Results: Reform in Massachusetts was associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality compared with the control group. Deaths from causes amenable to health care also significantly decreased. Changes were larger in counties with lower household incomes and higher prereform uninsured rates. Secondary analyses showed significant gains in coverage, access to care, and self-reported health. The number needed to treat was approximately 830 adults gaining health insurance to prevent 1 death per year….

Conclusion: Health reform in Massachusetts was associated with significant reductions in all-cause mortality and deaths from causes amenable to health care…..