News & Updates

New Evidence Highlights Medicaid MCOs Cover 49% of all Preterm Births: Progesterone Treatment May Not Be the Solution

April 21, 2020

New Evidence Highlights Medicaid MCOs Cover 49% of all Preterm Births: Progesterone Treatment May Not Be the Solution

Washington, DC - Medicaid finances about 43% of births in the United States, including nearly half (49%) of all preterm births. The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI), a non-profit, nonpartisan research and policy organization, released a report on Tuesday, April 21 providing additional information and guidance on the efficacy of preterm birth treatments. The report, “Preventing Preterm Birth: An Update for Medicaid MCOs on Utilization of Progesterone,” highlights the current evidence on progesterone treatments, a method previously recommended to prevent preterm birth. New evidence indicates that while progesterone had early promising evidence as a treatment, increased utilization has not been linked to reductions in preterm birth at the population level.

Progesterone treatments, such as 17-OHP, were originally theorized to help diminish preterm birth as a result of the hormone’s natural increase during gestation, and early studies seemed to support this idea. Through further testing, however, the success of the treatment has been brought into question. The landscape for preterm birth prevention is continuously shifting as evidence evolves, and there is an opportunity for guidance as Medicaid MCOs continue to evaluate the impact and cost-effectiveness of treatments.

Medicaid managed care organizations are uniquely positioned to develop and employ multiple approaches to increase the overall health and care of their members of childbearing age and to prevent preterm birth. In place of progesterone treatments, several promising best practices have been shown to reduce the racial disparity in preterm birthrates and low birth weights. Beyond expanding access, states and MCOs have incorporated preconception and interconception care programs, new care delivery models, and care management programs.

Access the report here to learn more.


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