Georgia Tech Researchers Examine Medicaid Costs for Children

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It’s a headline that’s been around for years: 90 percent of Medicaid dollars are spent on just 10 percent of the most medically needy patients. But new research from Georgia Tech shows that’s not exactly true, and the spending gap is much smaller than we think, particularly for children.

Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) Professor Julie Swann, Associate Professor Nicoleta Serban, and Ph.D. student Pravara Harati have analyzed six years of Medicaid claims for every child in ten U.S. states to compare the differences in cost for different types of patients based on their level of health and income. They found that healthy children are actually 50 to 60 percent of the total cost in the Medicaid system in Georgia, for example.

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