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Does Maternity Care Coordination Influence Perinatal Health Care Utilization? Evidence from North Carolina

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Health Services Research

Published online on


Objective To examine effects of maternity care coordination (MCC) on perinatal health care utilization among low‐income women. Data Sources North Carolina Center for Health Statistics Baby Love files that include birth certificates, maternity care coordination records, WIC records, and Medicaid claims. Study Design Causal effects of MCC participation on health care outcomes were estimated in a sample of 7,124 singleton Medicaid‐covered births using multiple linear regressions with inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW). Principal Findings Maternity care coordination recipients were more likely to receive first‐trimester prenatal care (p < .01) and averaged three more prenatal visits and two additional primary care visits during pregnancy; they were also more likely to participate in WIC and to receive postpartum family planning services (p < .01). Medicaid expenditures were greater among mothers receiving MCC. Conclusions Maternity care coordination facilitates access to health care and supportive services among Medicaid‐covered women. Increased maternal service utilization may increase expenditures in the short run; however, improved newborn health may reduce the need for costly neonatal care, and by implication the need for early intervention and other supports for at‐risk children.