Massachusetts health care reform decreased mortality

Massachusetts Health Care Reform Cut Mortality
Massachusetts Health Care Reform Cut Mortality

(HealthDay News) -- Health care reform in Massachusetts led to significant decreases in all-cause mortality, according to a study published in the May 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Benjamin D. Sommers, M.D., Ph.D., from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues compared mortality rates before (2001 to 2005) and after (2007 to 2010) health care reform in Massachusetts with a control group with similar demographics and economic conditions.

The researchers found that reform in Massachusetts was associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality versus the control group (−2.9 percent; P = 0.003, or an absolute decrease of 8.2 deaths per 100,000 adults). There was also a decrease in deaths from causes amenable to health care (−4.5 percent; P < 0.001). In counties with lower household incomes and higher pre-reform uninsured rates, the changes were larger. Roughly 830 adults gaining health insurance prevented one death per year in number-needed-to-treat analysis.

"Health reform in Massachusetts was associated with significant reductions in all-cause mortality and deaths from causes amenable to health care," the authors write.

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