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Revised Medicaid policy could reduce unintended pregnancies, save millions in health costs
Date:9/12/2013

ng its intended purpose, but also prevents the very same vulnerable population from obtaining a desired procedure, putting them at high risk for future unintended pregnancies."

To understand the cost savings that might result from a change in Medicaid sterilization policy, the researchers used existing data on the costs of Medicaid-funded sterilizations and Medicaid-covered births to construct a one-year cost effectiveness model from the health care payer's perspective. The model included all women who request Medicaid-funded post-partum sterilization and assumed that all pregnancies resulting after an unfulfilled sterilization request were unintended. The researchers then compared the costs of the existing policy to a hypothetically revised policy that removed logistical barriers.

They calculated that a revised Medicaid sterilization policy, including removal of the mandatory 30-day waiting period, would result in 29,000 fewer unintended pregnancies each year and thus lead to a cost savings of $215 million in taxpayer dollars.

The study suggested ways in which a modified policy could ensure patient comprehension, including improved readability of the consent form and decision-support tools to ensure that women are making fully informed decisions.

"Our study shows that existing federal policy should be modified to support both informed decision making and equitable access to a desired sterilization," advocated Dr. Borrero.


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Contact: Andrea Stanford
stanfordac@upmc.edu
412-522-3349
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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