During 2000 and 2001, researchers at the Medical and Health Research Association of New York City refined its "pulse study" methodology, which uses billing information and other administrative databases to quickly assess emerging public health issues.
Investigators conducted a pulse study probing the reasons its family planning clients lacked health insurance coverage. The study linked administrative data with interviews at three family planning clinics.
- Half of the patients surveyed had no insurance at the time of the survey.
- About one quarter of the uninsured had lost Medicaid or other public health coverage in the previous year, many after giving birth or terminating a pregnancy.
- More than a quarter of all patients said they desired but did not obtain some type of health care in the previous year because they could not pay for it.
- The investigators concluded that pregnancy often is the only circumstance that enables this population of women to obtain health insurance.