Continuity of insurance coverage and ambulatory care-sensitive hospitalizations/ED visits: evidence from the children's health insurance program. uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of continuity of insurance coverage on treatment of ambulatory-care sensitive conditions (ACSC). STUDY POPULATION: 42,382 children enrolled in ALL Kids (Alabama Children's Health Insurance Program) for 3 or more years. METHODS: We model annual hospitalizations and ED visits for six ACSCs identified by the AHRQ - bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, perforated appendix, urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis, and severe ear, nose and throat infection. RESULTS: In unadjusted models, we find lower risk of ACSC hospitalizations and ED visits in the second and third years of continuous enrollment. Risk of hospitalization in year 3 was significantly lower for pneumonia (OR 0.608, 95% CI: 0.421-0.878) and gastroenteritis (OR 0.549, 95% CI: 0.404-0.746). These beneficial effects of duration of coverage disappear after controlling for age, year and other enrollee characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalizations and ED visits for ACSCs are rare and do not decrease with additional years of coverage.

author list (cited authors)

  • Becker, D. J., Blackburn, J. L., Kilgore, M. L., Morrisey, M. A., Sen, B., Caldwell, C., & Menachemi, N.

citation count

  • 12