The Affordable Care Act's effect on emergency department visits appears to be a mixed bag, as a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine contradicts other research by showing an overall expansion in the use of emergency departments after the law was passed — consistent with polls of emergency physicians.

The latest research, led by Vanderbilt University assistant professor Sayeh Nikpay, finds total emergency department use per 1,000 patients increased by 2.5 visits more in Medicaid expansion states than in non-expansion states after 2014.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.