Title

Is Access to Outpatient Neurosurgery Affected by Narrow Insurance Networks? Results From Statewide Analysis of Marketplace Plans in Louisiana.

Department

Neurosurgery

Document Type

Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The main objective of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to make health insurance affordable to all Americans while addressing the lack of coverage for 48 million people. In the face of rapidly increasing enrollment and rising demand for inexpensive plans, insurance providers are limiting in-network physicians. Provider networks offering plans with limited in-network physicians have become known as "narrow networks."

OBJECTIVE: To assesses the adequacy of ACA marketplace plans for outpatient neurosurgery in Louisiana.

METHODS: The Marketplace Public Use Files were searched for all "silver" plans. A total of 7 silver plans were identified in Louisiana. Using the plans' online directories, a search of in-network neurosurgeons in Louisiana parishes with >100 000 population was performed. The primary outcome was lack of in-network neurosurgeon(s) in silver plans within 50 miles of selected zip code for each parish with >100 000 population. Plans without in-network neurosurgeon(s) are labeled as neurosurgeon-deficient plans.

RESULTS: Several plans in Louisiana are neurosurgeon deficient, ie no in-network neurosurgeon within 50 miles of the designated parish zip code. Company A's plan 3 is deficient in all 5 parishes, while company C and company D silver plans are deficient in 4 out of 14 (29%). Combined results from all counties and plans demonstrate that 43% (3 out of 7) of all silver plans in Louisiana are neurosurgeon deficient in at least 4 parishes with population >100 000.

CONCLUSION: In Louisiana, narrow networks have limited access to neurosurgical care for those patients with ACA silver plans.

Medical Subject Headings

Ambulatory Surgical Procedures; Health Insurance Exchanges; Health Services Accessibility; Humans; Insurance Coverage; Louisiana; Medically Underserved Area; Neurosurgeons; Neurosurgery; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Surveys and Questionnaires

Publication Date

1-1-2019

Publication Title

Neurosurgery

ISSN

1524-4040

Volume

84

Issue

1

First Page

50

Last Page

59

PubMed ID

29425336

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1093/neuros/nyx632

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