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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Progam benefits and emergency room visits for hypoglycaemia

  • Colleen Heflin (a1), Leslie Hodges (a1) and Peter Mueser (a2)
Abstract
Abstract Objective

The present study examines the connection between the timing and size of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and the occurrence of emergency room (ER) visits for hypoglycaemia, a condition that is highly sensitive to short-term changes in nutritional intake.

Design

We used administrative data from Missouri SNAP and Medicaid to identify the timing of issuance and the benefit size of SNAP and the timing of ER claims for hypoglycaemia. We estimated the probability of submitting an ER claim for hypoglycaemia as a function of the calendar week, SNAP benefit week and the size of the SNAP benefit in models that controlled for individual demographic characteristics.

Setting

Missouri SNAP caseload from January 2010 to December 2013 linked to adult Medicaid claims data for the same time period.

Subjects

ER claims submitted to Medicaid (n 6 508 061).

Results

The results indicated no evidence of a SNAP benefit cycle or monthly cycle to ER claims for hypoglycaemia. However, the analysis did find that ER claims for hypoglycaemia are related to the size of the SNAP benefit.

Conclusions

These results suggest that more generous SNAP benefits help households avoid nutritional fluctuations in the quality and quantity of food that might result in low blood sugar, thus necessitating fewer ER visits for hypoglycaemia.

Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email heflincm@missouri.edu
References
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Public Health Nutrition
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