When Food Stamp Benefits Go Up, These ER Visits Go Down

When Food Stamp Benefits Go Up, These ER Visits Go Down
Photo credit: Max Pixel. (Creative Commons Zero - CC0)

In 2014, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a federal program to address food insecurity in the United States, provided $70 billion in nutrition support to 46.5 million families and children living in 22.7 million American households.

Now, a new study shows that SNAP benefits may also help reduce visits to the emergency room, saving money for families, health care facilities, and taxpayers.

SNAP benefits reduced the incidence of extreme poverty by 13.2 percent and child poverty by 15.5 percent between 2000 and 2009, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

“According to prior research, the average medical costs associated with hypoglycemia requiring medical treatment was $1,186 per ER visit with costs often paid by Medicaid for individuals in extreme poverty,” says Colleen Heflin, professor of public affairs at the University of Missouri.

“Public safety net programs do not operate in silos; health cannot be addressed without attending to proper nutrition. Understanding how programs interact can improve policy programs while controlling costs.”

For the study, published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, researchers used data from the Missouri SNAP and Medicaid programs to identify the benefit size of SNAP and the timing of ER claims.

They then analyzed the relationship between receipt of SNAP benefits and use of health care. The analysis found a strong relationship between the size of the SNAP benefit and ER visits for hypoglycemia—a $100 increase in SNAP benefits decreased the likelihood of an ER visit for hypoglycemia by about 13 percent.

“This research suggests more generous SNAP benefits could help low-income families manage their household budgets,” says Leslie Hodges, a doctoral candidate in the Truman School of Public Affairs. “The SNAP program could help families avoid fluctuations in the quality and quantity of food that might result in low blood sugar severe enough to require treatment at the ER.”


 Get The Latest From InnerSelf


The US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, supported the work. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agency.

Source: University of Missouri

Related Books

{amazonWS:searchindex=Books;keywords=SNAP benefits;maxresults=3}

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

FROM THE EDITORS

The Day Of Reckoning Has Come For The GOP
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
The Republican party is no longer a pro-America political party. It is an illegitimate pseudo-political party full of radicals and reactionaries whose stated goal is to disrupt, destabilize, and…
Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…