Racial Disparities in Economic and Clinical Outcomes of Pregnancy Among Medicaid Recipients

Springerlink: 10/13/12

To explore racial-ethnic disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes among Medicaid recipients, and to estimate excess Medicaid costs associated with the disparities. Cross-sectional study of adverse pregnancy outcomes and Medicaid payments using data from Medicaid Analytic eXtract files on all Medicaid enrollees in fourteen southern states. Compared to other racial and ethnic groups, African American women tended to be younger, more likely to have a Cesarean section, to stay longer in the hospital and to incur higher Medicaid costs. African-American women were also more likely to experience preeclampsia, placental abruption, preterm birth, small birth size for gestational age, and fetal death/stillbirth. Eliminating racial disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes (not counting infant costs), could generate Medicaid cost savings of 114to214 million per year in these 14 states. Despite having the same insurance coverage and meeting the same poverty guidelines for Medicaid eligibility, African American women have a higher rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes than White or Hispanic women.  Read more