Medicaid Managed Care and Infant Health

    With Frank Ullman

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    This paper provides estimates of the effects of Medicaid managed care on prenatal care adequacy and infant birthweights, using a census of 1994 Medicaid births in Wisconsin, where some Medicaid recipients were enrolled in fully capitated HMOs while others remained in traditional fee-for-service systems. The results indicate that while Medicaid patients enrolled in managed care programs may be more likely to receive adequate prenatal care, birth outcomes under managed care are not significantly different from those under fee-for-service financing systems. We conclude that cost savings generated by Wisconsin Medicaid managed care are not coming at the expense of maternity patients' or infants' welfare.

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