States have been able to control their Medicaid spending by boosting access to primary-care doctors, according to the study.
Hospital services are generally more expensive than a visit to the family doctor, and many healthcare experts believe investments in preventive care ultimately save money. Todd Gilmer, a professor of health economics at the University of California, San Diego, is the study's lead author.
“Several states are using their Medicaid resources in a way that’s helping to reduce the need for more expensive hospital care,” Gilmer said in a statement. “This suggests that there is a great deal of room for innovation in Medicaid."