Incantations in the Dark: Medicaid, Managed Care, and Maternity Care

Public program reforms in the 1980s have substantially increased the numbers of poor pregnant women potentially eligible for Medicaid coverage. Structural deficiencies in the Medicaid program, together with inadequate arrangements in managed-care plans, however, have not led to generally acceptable levels of maternity care. Demonstration projects indicate that Medicaid can be modified cost effectively to underwrite early, continuous, and comprehensive care delivery. Recommendations are suggested for eligibility guarantees, enrollment safeguards, benefit and treatment protocols, provider recruitment, quality control, and sufficient payment rates to overcome barriers to adequate levels of maternal health care.

Author(s): Sara Rosenbaum; Dana Hughes; Elizabeth Butler; Deborah Howard

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Volume 66, Issue 4 (pages 661–693)
Published in 1988