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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The association between managed care enrollments and potentially preventable hospitalization among adult Medicaid recipients in Florida

Jungwon Park and Keon-Hyung Lee*

Author Affiliations

Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University, 659 Bellamy Building, Tallahassee, FL, 32306-2250, USA

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:247  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-247

Published: 10 June 2014



The intent of adopting managed care plans is to improve access to health care services while containing costs. To date, there have been a number of studies that examine the relationship between managed care and access to health care. However, the results from previous studies have been inconsistent. Specifically, previous studies did not demonstrate a clear benefit of Medicaid managed care. In this study we have examine whether Medicaid managed care is associated with the probabilities of preventable hospitalizations. This study also analyzes the spillover effect of Medicaid managed care into Medicaid patients in traditional FFS plans and the interaction effects of other patient- and county-level variables on preventable hospitalizations.


The study included 254,321 Medicaid patients who were admitted to short-term general hospital in the 67 counties in Florida. Using 2008 hospital inpatient discharge data for working-age adult Medicaid enrollees (18-64 years) in Florida, we conduct multivariate logistic regression analyses to identify possible factors associated with preventable hospitalizations. The first model includes patient- and county-level variables. Then, we add interaction terms between Medicaid HMO and other variables such as race, rurality, market-level factors, and resource for primary care.


The results show that Medicaid HMO patients are more likely to be hospitalized for ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs) (OR = 1.30; CI = 1.21, 1.40). We also find that market structure (i.e., competition) is significantly associated with preventable hospitalizations. However, our study does not support that there are spillover effects of Medicaid managed care on preventable hospitalizations for other Medicaid recipients. We find that interactions between Medicaid managed care and race, rurality and market structure are significant.


The results of our study show that the Medicaid managed care program in Florida was associated with an increase in potentially preventable hospitalizations for Medicaid enrollees. The results suggest that lower capitation rate has been associated with a greater likelihood of preventable hospitalizations for Medicaid managed care patients. Our findings also indicate that increased competition in the Medicaid managed care market has no clear benefit in Medicaid managed care patients.

Preventable hospitalization; Medicaid managed care; Rurality; Competition; Spillover effect; Ambulatory care sensitive conditions