Impact of augmented prenatal care on birth outcomes of Medicaid recipients in New York City
I examine whether New York State's Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP) is associated with greater use of prenatal services and improved birth outcomes. PCAP is New York State's augmented prenatal care initiative that became a part of the Medicaid program after expansion in income eligibility thresholds in January, 1990. Data are from the linkage of Medicaid administrative files with New York City birth certificates (N=23,243). For women on cash assistance, I find PCAP is associated with a 20 percent increase in the likelihood of enrollment in WIC, an increase in mean birth weight of 35 grams and a 1.3 percentage point drop in the rate of low birth weight. Associations between PCAP and improved birth outcomes for women on medical assistance are similar, but appear contaminated by selection bias. Reductions in newborn costs associated with PCAP participation are modest, between $100-$300 dollars per recipient, and are insufficient to offset program expenditures.
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