Study examines Medicaid funding cessation for neonatal circumcision


Though it’s each a non secular ceremony and cultural observe, male circumcision is primarily completed in america as a method of preventative well being care. But Medicaid funding for this neonatal process has been reducing for many years.

A brand new article within the journal AIDS and Habits titled “The 1982 Medicaid Funding Cessation for Circumcision in California and Circumcision Charges” investigates the state’s determination to cease subsidizing Medicaid neonatal circumcision. The analysis finds that such funding protection impacts circumcision charges, which might enlarge well being care disparities reminiscent of decrease charges of sexually transmitted infections, together with HIV and urinary tract infections.

California’s 1982 determination to defund Medicaid male neonatal circumcision was related to a 25 to 31 share level lower in West-Medicaid circumcision charges in comparison with the modifications for different teams and different states on this time interval. General this exhibits that insurance coverage funding choices have a key impression on households’ well being care choices.”

David Slusky, Professor of Economics, College of Kansas

Co-written by KU economics alumnus Ryan Wendling (who labored on the venture as an undergraduate analysis assistant) and infectious illness doctor Rebecca Linfield of Stanford College, this analysis is the primary to make use of the California case as a pure experiment to see how a defunding coverage change impacts contemporaneous circumcision charges.

The potential medical advantages of circumcision are well-known: This consists of lower of HIV (as much as 60% in scientific trials in a number of international locations in Africa), sexually transmitted infections, charges of urinary tract infections and charges of penile most cancers.

“Male neonatal circumcision is kind of cheap relative to different procedures -; about $215 per process -; and due to this fact an economical strategy to forestall illness,” Slusky stated.

In line with his analysis, Medicaid now pays for any­the place from 30% to 70% of all U.S. births throughout states. In 1990, solely California (1982) and North Dakota (1986) had ended Medicaid protection of neonatal circumcision. By 2011, a complete of 17 further states had adopted related insurance policies, with solely Colorado reversing its determination in 2017. California minimize Medicaid neonatal circumcision funding in 1982 primarily for budgetary causes.

Whereas this outcome has affected folks based mostly on their revenue, it additionally does so based mostly on race.

“Medicaid insures these with decrease incomes, which sadly in our nation is a disproportionately bigger share of Black and Hispanic populations than of different populations,” he stated. “New child males from these teams have been due to this fact extra prone to be coated by Medicaid and thus extra prone to be affected by defunding Medicaid male neonatal circumcision.”

A KU college member since 2015, Slusky focuses on well being economics and labor economics. He has performed analysis on quite a lot of subjects, together with the Flint water disaster, COVID-19 restrictions and abortion care.

“Our outcomes are one other instance that monetary nudges matter. There was no change in circumcision availability, not to mention mandates or cultural norms. And there’ll at all times each be households that may circumcise their sons no matter price and households that will not even when it is free. However we present that for a considerable variety of low-income households, the monetary price makes a distinction,” Slusky stated.

“State policymakers have to preserve that in thoughts after they resolve what’s and isn’t coated by Medicaid.”


Journal reference:

Linfield, R.Y., et al. (2022) The 1982 Medicaid Funding Cessation for Circumcision in California and Circumcision Charges. AIDS and Habits.

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