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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Study: Medicaid Expansion Reduces Postpartum Hospitalizations

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Thursday, January 12, 2023   

New research makes a compelling case for expanding Medicaid coverage in states like Georgia that have not.

The study examines postpartum hospitalizations, and found a 17% reduction in hospitalizations in the 60 days after giving birth in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs.

That's significant in Georgia, which already has the nation's highest maternal mortality rate, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Study co-author Maria Steenland - an assistant professor of health services, policy and practice at Brown University - said they compared the rates of hospitalization among pregnant, low-income patients whose deliveries were Medicaid-funded, versus those that were not, for six months after giving birth.

"Increasing insurance continuity or postpartum insurance is actually a way that we can improve health for postpartum people in the United States," said Steenland. "The main finding is basically that Medicaid expansion reduced postpartum hospitalizations in the first 60 days postpartum."

She added that some states are now opting to keep people with Medicaid coverage insured for a longer time after a pregnancy - up to 12 months postpartum, rather than just 60 days.

Other research has shown Medicaid coverage also results in more prenatal care and healthier pregnancies.

Steenland said they found in the first two months postpartum, nearly 70% of the mothers' hospitalizations are related to pregnancy complications. But between two and six months after giving birth, that drops to less than 10%.

"Some of the more common ones are these digestive system and mental health conditions. Diseases of the genitourinary system, and injury and poisoning, are among the most common reasons throughout the first six months," said Steenland. "But are more common relative to reasons directly related to childbirth, in the later postpartum periods."

Steenland added that this study examined hospitalizations for mothers after childbirth, but didn't address the impact of Medicaid coverage for their babies. Medicaid covers four in ten births in the U.S.




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