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Medicaid Expansion Points to Improved Equity in Birth Outcomes

May 26, 2020

Medicaid Expansion Points to Improved Equity in Birth Outcomes

Washington, DC- The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI), a non-profit, nonpartisan research and policy organization, announced on May 26 the publication of “County-level Variation in Low–birth Weight and Preterm Birth: An Evaluation of State Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act” in Medical Care. The report, written by IMI fellow Clare Brown, PhD, MPH and IMI founding executive director Jennifer Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN, investigates the relationship between birth outcomes and Medicaid expansion status by county.

From their research, the authors found that across the study period, rates of low birth weight and preterm birth were consistently higher for black infants and Hispanic infants relative to white infants. They also found a similar relationship of more prevalent lower birth weights and preterm births in non-expansion states relative to expansion states. Notably within expansion states, county-level variation in terms of the coefficient of variation decreased low birth weight and preterm birth for all 4 racial/ethnic groups, with the highest reductions (10.17%) for preterm birth among black infants.

As a result, the decrease in county-level variation in adverse birth outcomes among expansion states suggests improved equity in these states. This may translate to improved equity across the life course given the association between adverse birth outcomes, infant mortality, and long-term physical and cognitive morbidities.

Read and download the full report here.


About the Institute for Medicaid Innovation

The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization that provides independent, nonpartisan information and analysis to inform Medicaid policy and improve the health of the nation.

Media Contact

Lydia Tonkonow