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Data Links Infant Mortality with Lack of Insurance

Alabama babies whose mothers remunerated for their 2005 deliveries out-of-pocket were added than three times as to be expected to expire in their primary day as persons whose mothers had confidential health insurance, according to a health department report on the rampage Tuesday.

Researchers at the department's Center for Health Statistics used birth certificate information from the 60,262 live births Alabama had in 2005 to generate the four-page "Method of Payment for Delivery" report.

Dr. Albert Wool bright, who in progress functioning on the study six months ago, said it unfortunately contained few surprises.

Among the findings: White mothers had more private health insurance than minorities, women with less than 12 years of education were additional probable to be on Medicaid and 83.1 percent of mothers who were younger than age 20 used the federal insurance program.

"It's about what you would expect," said Wool bright, a bespectacled 15-year veteran of the department.

"The infant mortality, the low birth weight, the maternal morbidity is better the not as good as (and less educated) the woman," he said. "If we can prevent teen births and try to move the child bearing pattern from the lower age groups to ages 25-35 so that the mothers can finish college," their birth outcomes would be so much improved, he said.

Forty-eight percent of the 2005 deliveries were paid for by Medicaid, 48 percent were paid by private insurance and 4 percent were self-pay or other revenue.

The study establishes that babies whose deliveries were salaried for by Medicaid were 40 percent additional probable to be natural at a low birth weight than individuals with private insurance. Babies enclosed by Medicaid were more than 60 percent more probable to die than those with private insurance, researchers found.

State Health Officer Don Williamson said that doesn't mean Medicaid doesn't provide good health care.

Medicaid A Marker



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