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Am J Public Health. 2013 Apr;103(4):e113-21. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301201. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Doula care, birth outcomes, and costs among Medicaid beneficiaries.

Author information

1
Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA. kbk@umn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We compared childbirth-related outcomes for Medicaid recipients who received prenatal education and childbirth support from trained doulas with outcomes from a national sample of similar women and estimated potential cost savings.

METHODS:

We calculated descriptive statistics for Medicaid-funded births nationally (from the 2009 Nationwide Inpatient Sample; n = 279,008) and births supported by doula care (n = 1079) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2010 to 2012; used multivariate regression to estimate impacts of doula care; and modeled potential cost savings associated with reductions in cesarean delivery for doula-supported births.

RESULTS:

The cesarean rate was 22.3% among doula-supported births and 31.5% among Medicaid beneficiaries nationally. The corresponding preterm birth rates were 6.1% and 7.3%, respectively. After control for clinical and sociodemographic factors, odds of cesarean delivery were 40.9% lower for doula-supported births (adjusted odds ratio = 0.59; P < .001). Potential cost savings to Medicaid programs associated with such cesarean rate reductions are substantial but depend on states' reimbursement rates, birth volume, and current cesarean rates.

CONCLUSIONS:

State Medicaid programs should consider offering coverage for birth doulas to realize potential cost savings associated with reduced cesarean rates.

PMID:
23409910
PMCID:
PMC3617571
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2012.301201
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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