Survey shows drop in Arkansas uninsured ER visits

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Many Arkansas hospitals are reporting a significant drop in the number of uninsured patients in the emergency room after Arkansas' approval of the private option Medicaid expansion.

Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson on Thursday presented results of a preliminary survey of 42 hospitals that tracked emergency-room visits and the number of uninsured patients for the first three months of the year, as compared with the same time period in 2013.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1lHxGwX ) that emergency-room visits are down by 2 percent, while the number of uninsured patients in those emergency rooms dropped by 24 percent.

Thompson says about 160,000 applicants have been approved for coverage through the private option, which uses Medicaid funds to buy private insurance for low-income residents.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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