Nearly two out of three adult women enrolled in Medicaid are in their reproductive years (ages 19 to 44), and Medicaid currently finances about 48% of all births in the United States. Through the Maternal and Infant Health Initiative, Medicaid is encouraging states to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. Such efforts are aimed at reducing the human and financial costs (PDF, 196.31 KB) of infant health problems that can lead to early death or permanent disability. Activities revolve around improving the rate and content of postpartum visits in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); reducing unintended pregnancies and improving birth-spacing; expanding and enhancing breastfeeding; reducing preterm births and adverse pregnancy outcomes; and encouraging early and regular adult and adolescent well-care.
One state, North Carolina, is working toward improving maternal and infant health through its Pregnancy Medical Home program, which provides a financial incentive of $150 for the postpartum visit if it occurs within 60 days of delivery. The visits are scheduled early to give time for follow-up outreach, such as reminder phone calls and help with transportation, if the first appointment is missed. At postpartum visits, practitioners perform maternal depression screenings and encourage contraception during the postpartum period. Learn more about specific activities in three states, Illinois, North Carolina and New York (PDF, 1.92 MB).
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