Update 1: Where do free clinic patients in Virginia come from?

Over the past few weeks, I have examined data of where patients at Remote Area Medical free clinics in recent years in Virginia travel from for free medical care. Most of these clinics are located in the southwestern corner of the state, easily accessible from other states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Carolina. I have found that most patients who come from outside Virginia for care are from states that have not yet expanded Medicaid, such as Tennessee. Very few patients come from West Virginia, a state that has expanded Medicaid. I am hoping to obtain data from clinics prior to 2014, the year when West Virginia expanded Medicaid, to see if more patients came from West Virginia then. However, preliminary examination of data available indicates that lack of Medicaid expansion in certain states leads to increased reliance of citizens of those states on free clinics.


  1. gborgarelli says:

    Hi, your research sounds intriguing! I didn’t know people travel across states seeking medical attention based on insurance policies, especially because I assumed a government provided policy would be universal across all states. Does traveling across a state line affect the care that they receive? Do they need to provide some sort of proof that they are from the state that provides Medicaid in order to receive care? Also, I find interesting how preliminary data shows that the lack of Medicaid leads to higher reliance on free clinics. What would expansion of Medicaid lead to then?

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