South Carolina Partners for Preterm Birth Prevention: a regional perinatal initiative for the reduction of premature birth in a Medicaid population

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Oct;199(4):393.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.07.047.


Objective: The objective of the study was to improve the distribution of preterm deliveries in a Medicaid population through a regional perinatal risk assessment and case management initiative.

Study design: An innovative public/private partnership was initiated in the 8 county Lowcountry (LC) perinatal region to reduce preterm birth (PTB) among Medicaid recipient women. Eligible women were identified and underwent telephonic risk assessment, education, and access to a 24 hours, 7 days per week perinatal hotline. Women with predetermined risk factors for PTB were offered patient-centered case management. Medicaid claims and birth certificate data were used to compare obstetric outcomes for 2006 (intervention) and 2004 (control) in both the Lowcountry (LC; program) and Midlands (ML; nonprogram) perinatal regions.

Results: There were 6356 Medicaid deliveries in the LC in 2006. Of these, 2111 were referred for telephonic risk assessment; 317 had identifiable PTB risk factors and consented to case management. Compared with 2004, there was a significant improvement in the distribution of preterm birth (P = .05) in the LC region, primarily confined to deliveries less than 28 weeks (1.6% vs 1.1%; P = .029, relative risk [RR] 0.75, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51-0.96). There were also reductions in the frequency (6.7% vs 5.8%; RR 0.86, 95% CI, 0.75-0.98; P = .04) and mean duration (25.0 vs 20.6 days; 95% CI, 1.03-7.77; P = .01) of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions. No changes were identified in the ML region.

Conclusion: A regional initiative of telephonic risk assessment and case management of Medicaid recipient women significantly reduced deliveries less than 28 weeks and NICU care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case Management
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Medicaid*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Premature Birth / prevention & control*
  • Prenatal Care / organization & administration*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Assessment
  • South Carolina
  • United States