NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Brendan K. Saloner

Department of Health Policy
and Management
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School
of Public Health
624 N. Broadway
Room 344
Baltimore, MD 21205

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2017The Effect of Public Insurance Expansions on Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act
with Johanna Catherine Maclean: w23342
We examine Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on substance use disorder (SUD) treatment utilization and financing. We couple administrative data on admissions to specialty SUD treatment and prescriptions for medications used to treat SUDs with a differences-in-differences design, comparing expanding and non-expanding states. Post-expansion, admissions did not significantly change in expanding states relative to non-expanding states. We find that in expanding states Medicaid insurance and use of Medicaid to pay for treatment increased by 13.9 percentage points (71%) and 12.9 percentage points (75%) following the expansion. Post expansion, Medicaid-reimbursed prescriptions for medications used to treat SUDs in outpatient settings increased by 43% in expanding states relat...
 
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