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Evans L, Fabian MP, Charns MP, Gurewich D, Stopka TJ, Cabral HJ. Medicaid Expansion and Change in Federally Qualified Health Center Accessibility From 2008 to 2016. Medical care. 2022 Oct 1; 60(10):743-749.
BACKGROUND: The Affordable Care Act expanded health coverage for low-income residents through Medicaid expansion and increased funding for Health Center Program New Access Points from 2009 to 2015, improving federally qualified health center (FQHC) accessibility. The extent to which these provisions progressed synergistically as intended when states could opt out of Medicaid expansion is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To compare change in FQHC accessibility among census tracts in Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states. RESEARCH DESIGN: Tract-level FQHC accessibility scores for 2008 and 2016 were estimated applying the 2-step floating catchment area method to American Community Survey and Health Resources and Services Administration data. Multivariable linear regression compared changes in FQHC accessibility between tracts in Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states, adjusting for sociodemographic and health system factors and accounting for state-level clustering. SUBJECTS: In total, 7058 census tracts across 10 states. RESULTS: FQHC accessibility increased comparably among tracts in Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states (coef: 0.3; 95% CI: -0.3, 0.8; P -value: 0.36). FQHC accessibility increased more in tracts with higher poverty and uninsured rates, and those with lower proportions of non-English speakers and Black or African American residents. CONCLUSION: Similar gains in FQHC accessibility across Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states indicate improvements progressed independently from Medicaid expansion, rather than synergistically as expected. Accessibility increases appeared consistent with HRSA''s goal to improve access for individuals experiencing economic barriers to health care but not for those experiencing cultural or language barriers to health care.