Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Research & Data Analysis Division


Publication cover for 'The Impact of Recent Policy Changes on Outcomes for Medical Care Services Clients'

Jan 13 | 11.187 | Online Library

The Impact of Recent Policy Changes on Outcomes for Medical Care Services Clients

Health, Mortality, Housing, Food Assistance, and Criminal Justice

This report examines how recent policy changes have impacted caseload trends and measures of well-being among individuals enrolled in the Medical Care Services (MCS) program who were eligible for the Disability Lifeline (DL) program in October 2011, prior to its elimination. We compare the experiences of a cohort of individuals enrolled in MCS/DL in October 2011 with outcomes for cohorts enrolled in October 2009 and October 2010. Over an eight month follow-up period, we find that the October 2011 cohort experienced: 1. Increased migration off MCS coverage, primarily through transitions to Categorically Needy Medicaid coverage associated with ABD cash assistance rather than through exits from medical assistance; 2. Lower mortality rates and emergency department utilization; 3. Higher rates of receipt of housing assistance among those with an identified housing need; and 4. Similar arrest rates and lower rates of incarceration.