Outcomes of childbearing Medicaid beneficiaries engaged in care at Strong Start birth center sites between 2012 and 2014




Jolles, Diana R.
Langford, Rae
Stapleton, Susan
Cesario, Sandra
Koci, Anne
Alliman, Jill

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Background: Variations in care for pregnant women have been reported to affect pregnancy outcomes.

Methods: This study examined data for all 3136 Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled at American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Strong Start sites who gave birth between 2012 and 2014. Using the AABC Perinatal Data Registry, descriptive statistics were used to evaluate socio-behavioral and medical risks, and core perinatal quality outcomes. Next, the 2082 patients coded as low medical risk on admission in labor were analyzed for effective care and preference sensitive care variations. Finally, using binary logistic regression, the associations between selected care processes and cesarean delivery were explored.

Results: Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled at AABC sites had diverse socio-behavioral and medical risk profiles and exceeded quality benchmarks for induction, episiotomy, cesarean, and breastfeeding. Among medically low-risk women, the model demonstrated effective care variations including 82% attendance at prenatal education classes, 99% receiving midwifery-led prenatal care, and 84% with midwifery- attended birth. Patient preferences were adhered to with 83% of women achieving birth at their preferred site of birth, and 95% of women using their preferred infant feeding method. Elective hospitalization in labor was associated with a 4-times greater risk of cesarean birth among medically low-risk childbearing Medicaid beneficiaries.

Conclusions: The birth center model demonstrates the capability to achieve the triple aims of improved population health, patient experience, and value.


Article originally published in Birth, 44(4), 298–305. English. Published online 2017. https://doi.org/10.1111/birt.12302


Birthing centers, Cesarean birth, Medicaid


This is the publisher’s version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/birt.12302. Recommended citation: Jolles, D. R., Langford, R., Stapleton, S., Cesario, S., Koci, A., & Alliman, J. (2017). Outcomes of childbearing Medicaid beneficiaries engaged in care at strong start birth center sites between 2012 and 2014. Birth, 44(4), 298–305. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.