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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Michigan Study: Increases in Elective Surgeries Result from New Health Care Coverage

Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s national health insurance expansion could result in many more elective surgeries, based on how utilization changed after Massachusetts’ insurance reform. The study, co-authored by Dr. John Ayanian, professor of health management and policy, discovered a 9.3 percent increase in discretionary surgery in Massachusetts and a 4.5 percent decrease in non-discretionary surgery from 2003 through 2010.


[Photo: Dr. John Ayanian]

“Our collective findings suggest that insurance expansion leads to greater utilization of discretionary inpatient procedures that are often performed to improve quality of life rather than to address immediately life-threatening conditions,” says Dr. Chandy Ellimoottil, one of the authors. The results of the study are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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