Health Outcomes, Healthcare Systems, and State and Local Health Policy…

MuniNet Guide’s Healthcare page provides articles and analysis of policy recommendations and issues from leading public and private organizations specializing in healthcare, particularly as it affects cities and states. We also provide charts and analysis on the fiscal health of healthcare systems, which are important not only to investors, but also indicate the ability of the health industry to provide care in a sustainable way. Changes in trends of fiscal measures also reflect changes in policy, providing evidence of success and failure.

A core mission of MuniNet Guide is always to be a gateway for researchers and citizens to the best websites, organizations, and data-sets in a given discipline. Our ‘Top Picks’ section below is a hand-picked list of our favorite resources. 

State Opioid Death Rates: Analysis Indicates General Economic Conditions May Not be Determinative:
The opioid epidemic is possibly the most severe public health crisis in the United States, and it has afflicted the country at alarmingly increasing rates. By 2015, the highest opioid overdose death rates occur in states of which a large part is part of Appalachia, namely West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. New England states are also particularly afflicted. West Virginia’s 2006 nation-leading death rate of 16.1 would only be the 11th highest state death rate in 2015.  Read more on the impacts and causes here.

 Policy Analysis – State Impacts of Medicaid Expansion Repeal:

Kaiser Uninsured Rates

This chart, created from a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, shows uninsured rates for non-elderly persons between 2013-2016 were 2.2% greater in states that adopted the Medicaid expansion than those that did not. Other key policy implications of repeal:

In 2015, an estimated 11 million enrollees were adults made newly eligible by the expansion who could be at risk for losing Medicaid coverage.

Studies show states that Medicaid expansion states have experienced broader economic gains, like budget savings, increased employment, savings in other states programs, such as state-funded behavioral health or corrections, and increased hospital revenues.

Fiscal Trends in Hospital Systems:

Hospital Operating Margin

Based on early audit results, the first full year of ACA implementation, 2015, showed a positive impact on hospital operating margins, which were poised to show the highest figure since 2005, and possible since the mid-1990s.

Operating margin measures the profitability of operating revenues, meaning revenues generated organically through the provision of healthcare and related services. This is a good measure of fiscal sustainability, because it does not account for revenue from outside sources, be they public money, charitable donations, or other non-operating revenues. This chart demonstrates that the actual ‘business’ of healthcare became more profitable in 2015.

Top Picks
The following featured links are approved by MuniNet as exceptional online resources offering up-to-date information on topics that matter