Preventive Health Care Utilization Among Mother-Infant Dyads With Medicaid Insurance in the Year Following Birth

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Following birth, women may access preventive care in adult settings or, with their infants, in pediatric settings. Preventive care can improve future birth outcomes and long-term health, particularly for women with health risks.

Methods: This cohort study linked mother-infant Medicaid claims from 12 states for 2007-2011 births. Pregnancy claims identified health risk categories: maternal cardiovascular (diabetes, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, obesity), maternal mental health (depression, anxiety), and premature birth. Claims for 1 year following birth identified adult and pediatric preventive visits. Logistic regression assessed the relationship between visits and risks, adjusting for maternal demographics, perinatal health care utilization, year, and state.

Results: Of 594,888 mother-infant dyads with Medicaid eligibility for 1 year following birth, 36% had health risks. In total, 38% of all dyads, and 33% with health risks, had no adult preventive visits. Dyads had a median of 1 (IQR, 0-2) adult and 3 (IQR, 2-5) pediatric preventive visits. A total of 72% of dyads had more preventive visits in pediatric than adult settings. In regression, preterm birth was associated with lower odds of any adult preventive visits [odds ratio (OR), 0.97; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.95-0.99], and maternal health risks with higher odds (cardiovascular OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.18-1.21; mental health OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.84-1.91), compared with dyads without risk.

Conclusions: Maternal health risks were associated with increased adult preventive visits, but 38% of dyads had no adult preventive visits in the year following birth. Most dyads had more opportunities for preventive care in pediatric settings than adult settings.