The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Burn Outcomes

Justin E. Dvorak*, Erica L.W. Lester, Patrick J. Maluso, Leah C. Tatebe, Faran Bokhari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Uninsured and low socioeconomic status patients who suffer burn injuries have disproportionately worse morbidity and mortality. The Affordable Care Act was signed into law with the goal of increasing access to insurance, with Medicaid expansion in January 2014 having the largest impact. To analyze the population-level impact of the Affordable Care Act on burn outcomes, and investigate its impact on identified at-risk subgroups, a retrospective time series of patients was created using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project National Inpatient Sample database between 2011 and 2016. An interrupted time series analysis was conducted to examine mortality, length of stay, and the probabilities of discharge home, home with home health, and to another facility before and after January 2014. There were no changes in burn mortality detected. There was a statistically significant reduction in the probability of being discharged home (-0.000967, P <. 01; 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.0015379 to -0.0003962) or discharged home with home health (-0.000709, P <. 01; 95% CI -0.00110 to 0.000317) after 2014. There was an increase in the probability of being discharged to another facility (0.00108, P =. 01; 95% CI 0.000282-0.00188). While the enactment of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act in 2014 was not associated with a change in mortality for burn patients, it was associated with more patients being discharged to a facility: This may represent a significant improvement in access to care and rehabilitation. Future studies will assess the societal and economic impact of improved access to post-discharge facilities and rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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