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Stroke patients better off with private insurance than Medicaid

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Stroke victims who use Medicaid or are uninsured were more likely to die, stay hospitalized longer and have worse medical outcomes than patients with private insurance, a study by University of Florida Health researchers has found.

The uninsured and Medicaid patients were also more likely to develop a new medical condition in the hospital, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Neurosurgery. The study was the largest and most comprehensive analysis of how insurance status relates to stroke outcomes in the United States. Researchers analyzed nationwide data from more than 1.5 million hospital admissions involving stroke patients between 2002 and 2011.

The most concerning part of the findings was the statistically higher rate of patient-safety issues for those without private insurance, as well as their higher death rate, longer stays and worse outcomes, researchers said. Among Medicaid and self-pay patients, 5.1 percent of stroke victims died in the hospital, compared with 4.4 percent of those with private insurance.


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