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Lack of insurance could raise death risk for inpatients

Posted On Fri, June 11, 2010

A new study from Massachusetts doctors found that surviving a hospitalization for some serious emergencies might depend, in part, on the kind of insurance the victim has.

The study found that those working-age adults without insurance or on Medicaid that were hospitalized for heart attack, stroke or pneumonia had a significantly higher chance of dying than those with private health insurance, according to Business Week.

The report found that for every 100 heart attack patients, the death rate for insurance patients was 2.22 percent, while it was 4.03 percent for the uninsured, Business Week reported. While the study did not find reasons for disparities in care, its lead author said a combination of factors, such as provider sensitivity to insurance status and limited access to primary care among the uninsured, could be partly to blame.

Business Week said the study found Medicaid patients faced a 50 and 44 percent greater risk of dying from heart attack and stroke, respectively.

A CNN report speculated that the uninsured are more likely to delay seeking care until they feel their illness may be a matter of life or death, and that hospitals may avoid doing expensive procedures on uninsured patients.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19833298-ADNFCR

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