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1.  Intergenerational enrollment and expenditure changes in Medicaid: trends from 1991 to 2005 
Background
From its inception, Medicaid was aimed at providing insurance coverage for low income children, elderly, and disabled. Since this time, children have become a smaller proportion of the US population and Medicaid has expanded to additional eligibility groups. We sought to evaluate relative growth in spending in the Medicaid program between children and adults from 1991-2005. We hypothesize that this shifting demographic will result in fewer resources being allocated to children in the Medicaid program.
Methods
We utilized retrospective enrollment and expenditure data for children, adults and the elderly from 1991 to 2005 for both Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Medicaid expansion programs. Data were obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services using their Medicaid Statistical Information System.
Results
From 1991 to 2005, the number of enrollees increased by 83% to 58.7 million. This includes increases of 33% for children, 100% for adults and 50% for the elderly. Concurrently, total expenditures nationwide rose 150% to $273 billion. Expenditures for children increased from $23.4 to $65.7 billion, adults from $46.2 to $123.6 billion, and elderly from $39.2 to $71.3 billion. From 1999 to 2005, Medicaid spending on long-term care increased by 31% to $84.3 billion. Expenditures on the disabled grew by 61% to $119 billion. In total, the disabled account for 43% and long-term care 31%, of the total Medicaid budget.
Conclusion
Our study did not find an absolute decrease in the overall resources being directed toward children. However, increased spending on adults on a per-capita and absolute basis, particularly disabled adults, is responsible for much of the growth in spending over the past 15 years. Medicaid expenditures have grown faster than inflation and overall national health expenditures. A national strategy is needed to ensure adequate coverage for Medicaid recipients while dealing with the ongoing constraints of state and federal budgets.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-327
PMCID: PMC3489572  PMID: 22992389
Medicaid; CHIP; Long-term care; Disabled
2.  Variation in lumbar punctures for early onset neonatal sepsis: a nationally representative serial cross-sectional analysis, 2003-2009 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:134.
Background
Whether lumbar punctures (LPs) should be performed routinely for term newborns suspected of having early onset neonatal sepsis (EONS) is subject to debate. It is unclear whether variations in performance of LPs for EONS may be associated with patient, hospital, insurance or regional factors. Our objective was to identify characteristics associated with the practice of performing LPs for suspected EONS in a nationally representative sample.
Methods
Utilizing data from the 2003, 2006 and 2009 Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) compiled by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, we examined the frequency and characteristics of term, normal-birth weight newborns receiving an LP for EONS. Survey-weighting was applied for national estimates and used in chi squared and multivariable regression analysis.
Results
In 2009, there were 13,694 discharges for term newborns that underwent LPs for apparent EONS. Newborns having LPs performed were more likely to be covered by Medicaid vs. private insurance (51.9 vs. 45.1 percent; p < 0.001), be born in urban vs. rural hospitals (94.8 vs. 87.3 percent; p < 0.001), teaching vs. non-teaching (60.8 vs. 43.1 percent; p < 0.001) and children’s hospitals vs. non-children’s (23.0 vs. 11.2 percent; p < 0.001). Lastly, newborns having LPs performed were disproportionately born in the Northeast census region (p = 0.03). In multi-year adjusted analysis, infants with Medicaid coverage, and those born in urban or teaching hospitals, consistently had higher odds of having an LP performed.
Conclusions
We found pronounced variation in LPs performed for EONS, even when adjusting for clinical conditions that would prompt LPs. These findings indicate practice variations in newborn care that merit further examination and explanation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-134
PMCID: PMC3469339  PMID: 22928623
Neonatal; Sepsis; Lumbar puncture; Variation; Early onset neonatal sepsis

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