Healthcare Dive: Study Shows Health Benefits of Early Access to Medicaid Extend for Generations

Photo by Amila Pradeep/FlickrCC

By Meg Bryant/Healthcare Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Access to health services in utero and during early childhood improves not only the health outcomes of those children but of their offspring as well, in terms of higher average birth weight and reduced incidence of very low birth weight, a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds.
  • The researchers analyzed data in the 1994-2015 Vital Statistics Natality files to see the impact of an individual’s early Medicaid eligibility on later offspring’s health at birth. All of the infants’ mothers were born between 1979 and 1986, when changes in eligibility rules led to big uptick in prenatal Medicaid coverage.
  • They found that a 10% rise in the first generation’s in utero Medicaid eligibility raises the second generation’s average birth weight by 4.4 grams and lowers the incidence of very low birth weight by 0.1%…

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Register-Herald: Could Licensed Midwives Be a Life-Saver in Rural West Virginia?

By Wendy Holdren/Register-Herald

West Virginia’s winding mountain roads often become barriers for access to care in the rural nooks and crannies of the state. Many expectant mothers travel an hour or longer for prenatal and delivery services.

Midwifery could play an important role for those living in rural communities.

The West Virginia Perinatal Partnership, a nonprofit based in Charleston working to improve perinatal health, reports there are roughly 180 individuals offering prenatal care in the state, including obstetricians, OB/GYNs, family nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives.

Some health care providers believe midwifery could play an important role for those living in rural communities.

But in West Virginia, midwives who aren’t nurses don’t have a way to become licensed.

Angelita Nixon, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Certified Nurse Midwife located in Teays Valley, said West Virginia is one of 21 states without a licensure pathway for direct entry midwives…

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