Comparing Impacts of Hurricane Sandy on Multiple Health Outcomes between Medicaid and Medicare Enrolled
Methods: An ecological study was conducted among elderly aged Medicaid and Medicare enrollees residing in NYS. We aggregated daily counts of claims for four service types (outpatient, emergency department, inpatient, and pharmacy) over immediate, three-month and twelve-month periods following the storm. We performed Poisson regression to compare service utilization during the storm year with prior years among affected and non-affected areas.
Results: We observed immediately after Hurricane Sandy period, the greatest risk of CVD was among Medicaid (RR 2.65; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 2.64-2.66), while injury was among Medicare enrolled (RR 1.21; 95%CI 1.21,1.22). The high risk of CVD and injury remained consistent three-months and twelve-months after the storm period. However, women enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare were most vulnerable to CVD and injury risk after Hurricane Sandy, with the strongest association twelve-months after storm (RR 2.63 and 1.73, respectively).
Conclusion: Our findings revealed gender-specific differences for the effects of Hurricane Sandy on health outcomes. We also found that the effect was observable one year after storm period. This study points to a greater need for public health emergency preparedness and response to include the impact of long-term effects as a priority.