Access to Prenatal Care in Kent County: Understanding the Issues that influence Provider Participation in the Medicaid Program
An analysis of the Kessner Index, a measurement of the adequacy of prenatal care, reveals a large disparity between Medicaid enrollees and those with private health insurance in Kent County. Between 1998 and 2003, 55% of Medicaid funded births in Kent County received adequate care, compared with 70% of privately insured births. A contributing factor to this occurrence is a limited physician capacity willing to provide care. Because the choice of accepting Medicaid as a form of payment is left largely at the physician's discretion, access to prenatal care for those enrolled in Medicaid can be greatly impeded. This study surveyed OB/GYNs in Kent County asking them about issues that have a potential impact on their decision to accept Medicaid patients. The results indicate common frustrations in dealing with the Medicaid program overall, as well as important differences across age and gender. These findings provide potential avenues for policy change that will address the existing disparity.
Faculty Mentor: Stephen Borders
Page last modified May 13, 2011