Medicaid Managed Care Affects Prenatal Care

Armen Hareyan's picture

Prenatal Care For Pregnant Women


"Does Managed Care Hurt Health? Evidence From Medicaid Mothers," Review of Economics and Statistics:Medicaid managed care in California has reduced the quality of prenatalcare for pregnant women and increased the risk of low birthweight,premature birth and neonatal death, according to the study. Anna Aizerof Brown University and the National Bureau of Economic Researchand colleagues used a longitudinal database of women in California todetermine whether MMC had any effect on the quality of prenatal careand birth outcomes.

According to the study, MMC was associated withlarge declines in the utilization of prenatal care among women underMedi-Cal or county organized health systems. The implementation of MMCalso was associated with low birth weight, shorter gestation periodsand neonatal death among the same women. "These results provide strongevidence that health care providers responded to managed careincentives to reduce costs by limiting care and suggest that theselimitations in care had negative effects on infant births," theresearchers write.

They added that these "negative effects may havebeen especially pronounced in this population because the plans'incentive to provide preventive care was effectively removed" (Aizer etal., Review of Economics and Statistics, August 2007).

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