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Matern Child Health J. 2006 Sep;10(5 Suppl):S85-91.

Public finance policy strategies to increase access to preconception care.

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  • 1Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.

Abstract

Policy and finance barriers reduce access to preconception care and, reportedly, limit professional practice changes that would improve the availability of needed services. Millions of women of childbearing age (15-44) lack adequate health coverage (i.e., uninsured or underinsured), and others live in medically underserved areas. Service delivery fragmentation and lack of professional guidelines are additional barriers. This paper reviews barriers and opportunities for financing preconception care, based on a review and analysis of state and federal policies. We describe states' experiences with and opportunities to improve health coverage, through public programs such as Medicaid, Medicaid waivers, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The potential role of Title V and of community health centers in providing primary and preventive care to women also is discussed. In these and other public health and health coverage programs, opportunities exist to finance preconception care for low-income women. Three major policy directions are discussed. To increase access to preconception care among women of childbearing age, the federal and state governments have opportunities to: (1) improve health care coverage, (2) increase the supply of publicly subsidized health clinics, and (3) direct delivery of preconception screening and interventions in the context of public health programs.

PMID:
16802188
PMCID:
PMC1592251
DOI:
10.1007/s10995-006-0125-8
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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