Friday, December 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Study: Insured no more likely to take part in risky behavior

By
From page A7 | November 29, 2013 |

People with health insurance are more likely to use preventive services such as flu shots and health screenings to reduce their risk of serious illness, but they are no more likely than people without insurance to engage in risky health behaviors such as smoking or gaining weight.

That’s according to new study by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Rochester.

The findings, published in the November-December issue of the “Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine,” contradict the common concern that expanding health care coverage may encourage behaviors that increase the need for health care and its costs.

It marks the first time the relationship has been vigorously investigated in a national sample of adults of all ages.

“The notion that people with insurance will exhibit riskier behavior is referred to by economists as ‘ex ante moral hazard’ and has its roots in the early days of the property insurance industry,” said Anthony Jerant, a UCD professor of family and community medicine and lead author of the study.

“After buying fire insurance, some people wouldn’t manage fire hazards on their property. But health care is different. Someone might not care if their insured warehouse burns down, but most people want desperately to avoid illness.”

Jerant and his colleagues evaluated respondents in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a source of national data on the costs and uses of health care. They included adults who entered the survey between 2000 and 2008, participated for two years and had insurance at least once during those two years of participation.

The team then compared data on 96,021 respondents while they were insured to data on them while they were uninsured.

Specifically, the team compared health behaviors that are often detrimental to health such as smoking, seat belt use and weight gain. They also focused on use of preventive care services that are intended to protect health, including flu vaccinations, colorectal cancer screenings, mammography, pap smears and PSA (prostate-specific antigen) tests.

The researchers examined numbers of office visits, prescriptions and other health spending data.

“These results do show that having health insurance affects the likelihood of receiving important preventive services that can potentially reduce the chance of an influenza-related hospitalization or death and prevent or detect colorectal or cervical cancer,” said co-author Kevin Fiscella, professor of family medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

“This is a critical message, as many states continue to debate whether to expand Medicaid.”

While the results of this study generally support the broad intent behind the Affordable Care Act to expand insurance coverage as one means to encourage preventive care, Jerant urges caution.

“The people in our study voluntarily acquired health insurance, while the ACA is mandatory. We will need to verify whether our findings apply to mandatory coverage. People may behave differently when coverage is mandated,” he said.

In addition, the study does not address why gaining insurance improves receipt of preventive care but not health behaviors that can have profound health effects.

The authors suggest that this may result from clinicians having a greater vested interest in preventive interventions, which are more directly under the clinicians’ control and easier to bring about than sustained lifestyle changes.

The authors also point out that studies have found that clinical efforts to encourage weight control, seat belt use and smoking cessation have limited efficacy.

While preventive care increased for those with insurance, that increase was not uniform across different types of care. For example, insurance increased cancer screenings, such as colonoscopies, much more than flu shots.

The authors hypothesize this may be due to differences in cost and access, as vaccines are relatively inexpensive for uninsured people to buy and are widely available in many workplaces, drugstores and other places — not just in health care facilities.

Other study authors were Daniel Tancredi and senior author Peter Franks of UCD.

— UC Davis News

Comments

comments

.

News

 
UCD, UC team up to study effects of climate change

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Teens’ goal? Helping other soccer players around the world

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
There’s a plate for you at the Davis Holiday Meal

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Police seek suspect in hit-and-run collision

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Help sought in search for runaway Davis teen

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Feds release ‘framework’ to rate colleges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Gunfire leads to DUI arrest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Creative women share food, friendship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Konditorei presents free holiday concert

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Welcome 2015 with Mumbo Gumbo at a gala bash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Luminaria display planned in West Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Willett bench is a labor of love

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

Author! Author! UCD hosts talks, Q and A on Asia-focused books

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Blue Christmas service planned at Davis churches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Libraries will be closed around the holidays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
See diving ducks at city wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Downtown gift cards get a new perk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
A home for the holidays?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Explorit: Experience nano this spring

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Grandmothers support group meets weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Forum

He needs them to pay up

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Kudos to Central Park Gardens donors and volunteers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

 
Cheers and Jeers: Have you ever seen the rain?

By Our View | From Page: A14

Defeating Ebola involves medicine, and prayers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

Cousins is back in lineup but Kings fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devil boys hold off scrappy Rio Linda

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lady Blue Devils rout an undefeated Liberty squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD RB coach Wright heads to Florida; what next?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Aggies nab junior college defensive lineman

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Nostra-Dunning makes his college bowl picks

By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

Tennyson’s first goal is the difference in Sharks win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name droppers: Trio elected to academy of inventors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Arts

 
‘Before Midnight’ screening is tonight

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

DMTC plans New Year’s Eve party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
Tom Rigney and Flambeau to play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
DMTC announces auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
.

Business

After 19 years, Alfa Romeo returns

By Ann M. Job | From Page: A16

 
.

Obituaries

Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics