Semester of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Science in Engineering Science (MSES)


Engineering Science

Document Type



Medicaid Expansion and closing of Emergency Departments (ED) like Earl K. Long, Baton Rouge General Mid-City ED, and Champion Medical Center changed the health care landscape in East Baton Rouge Parish (EBRP). In this research study, a Geographical Information System (GIS) is used to analyze the impact of the expansion of Medicaid and the inauguration of Our Lady of the Lake North Baton Rouge ED (OLOL NBR ED) over the utilization of Franciscan Missionaries of our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) for both emergency and non-emergency health care services. This study is performed across the 58 neighborhoods of EBRP. Overutilization of ED is another major issue faced by the health care providers. This research study also focusses on the impact of expansion of Medicaid on over-utilizers of FMOLHS ED facilities in EBRP. The patient data obtained from the Electronic Health Records (EHR) of Francis Missionaries of our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) is geocoded and mapped into ArcGIS software. The census information that is publicly available for EBRP as shape files is used to map and join geocoded patient data to form heat maps. After the expansion of Medicaid, there is a significant increase in patient visits in FMOLHS ED and non-ED facilities (primary care centers) due to an increase in the number (count) of patients to these facilities and not to an increased rate of visits per patient. More proportion of patients started visiting FMOLHS ED facilities from lower-income neighborhoods in EBRP and FMOLHS non-ED facilities from medium-income neighborhoods after the expansion of Medicaid. After the inauguration of OLOL NBR ED, there is a significant reduction in the number of patients to other FMOLHS ED facilities (OLOL RMC ED and Livingston ED). The highest reduction in patients count to OLOL RMC ED and Livingston ED is observed in the lower-income neighborhoods compared to the reduction in patients count in the medium and higher income neighborhoods after the inauguration of OLOL NBR ED

Committee Chair

Knapp, Gerald