NY MEDICAID: Birth Outcomes Better Under Managed Care
Pregnant women enrolled in New York's Medicaid managed care plans have better birth outcomes than their counterparts in traditional Medicaid fee-for-service plans, according to data presented at the Association for Health Services Research annual meeting in Chicago. Dr. Martha Wojtowycz of the State University of New York-Syracuse examined the birth outcomes for 17,878 pregnant women in central New York for 1998 -- the first year that the 15 participating counties ushered all Medicaid beneficiaries into managed care plans. The researchers determined that "[d]uring 1998, 37% of deliveries were paid for by Medicaid, with 80% of those paid for by fee-for-service plans and 20% covered by Medicaid managed care," Reuters Health reports. Wojtowycz found that those enrolled in Medicaid HMOs were "significantly more likely to receive prenatal care in private offices" and "they were significantly less likely to deliver low-birthweight infants." The C-section rates held steady across the two groups. The researchers suggested that perhaps the findings indicate that care of "Medicaid patients in private offices with substantial continuity may result in better outcomes than care in clinic settings with less provider continuity" (Reuters Health, 6/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.