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Improving Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program

Applegate, Mary MD, FACP; Gee, Rebekah E. MD, MPH; Martin, James N. Jr MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000320
Contents: Current Commentary

Maternal and infant health is critical to our nation's health. Disparities remain unacceptably high, particularly in the areas of prematurity and infant mortality. In 2012, traditionally distant partners such as federal and state governments, Medicaid and commercial payers, patients, public health and private clinicians, and multiple advocacy groups collaborated to focus on improving birth outcomes. To catalyze the alignment, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services convened an Expert Panel on Improving Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Over a year's time, the Expert Panel assimilated the best available evidence in clinical science and policy from content leaders and patients. These recommendations culminated in the present report, which challenges us as a nation to implement strategies to help all children have the best chance to survive and thrive comparable to that of other westernized nations.

Unprecedented energy and collaboration among diverse federal and state partners to improve birth outcomes leads to six major recommendations for action by an expert panel.

Ohio Department of Medicaid, Columbus, Ohio; the Departments of Health Policy and Management and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Louisiana State University, Schools of Public Health and Medicine, New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi.

Corresponding author: James N. Martin, Jr, MD, Department OBGYN-UMMC, 2500 N State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505; e-mail:

The Expert Panel, cochaired by Drs. Applegate and Martin, was created by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services with project direction by Lekisha Daniel-Robinson, Coordinator, Maternal and Infant Health Initiatives for the Center for Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program Services. The Expert Panel was convened by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' contractor Provider Resources, Inc whose membership included Dr. Gee and state Medicaid medical directors, Medicaid providers, consumer representatives, and other experts in the areas of maternal and child health, Medicaid, advocacy, and research.

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2014 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.