Objectives: In 2012, the Ohio Department of Medicaid introduced requirements for enhanced care management to be delivered by Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs). This study evaluated the impact of care management on reducing infant mortality in the largest Medicaid MCO in Ohio.

Study Design: Observational study using infant and maternal individual-level enrollment and claims data (2009-2015), which used a quasi-experimental research design built on a sibling-comparison approach that controls for within-family confounders.

Methods: Using individual-level data from the largest MCO in Ohio, we estimated linear probability models to examine the effect of infant engagement in care management on infant mortality. We used a within-family fixed-effects research design to determine if care management reduced infant mortality and estimated models separately for healthy infants and nonhealthy infants.

Results: Infant engagement in care management was associated with a reduction of 7.4 percentage points (95% CI, –10.7 to –4.1; P <.001) in infant mortality among the most vulnerable infants, those identified as not well at birth. This effect was larger in recent years and likely driven by new statewide enhanced care management requirements. Infant mortality was unchanged for healthy infants engaged in care management (coefficient = 0.03; 95% CI, –0.01 to 0.08).

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that care management can be effective in reducing infant mortality among Medicaid MCO enrollees, a population at high risk of mortality. Few infants were engaged in care management, suggesting to policy makers that there is room for many additional infants to benefit from this intervention.

Authors: Hollingsworth, A. J., Kranz, A. M., & Freund, D.

Publication Date: March 16, 2020

DOI: 10.37765/ajmc.2020.42637

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