Found: A Way to Determine How Access to Health Insurance Affects Birth Outcomes

Study of financial barriers to prenatal care in diverse ethnic groups

In 1989, California became the second state in the United States to list maternal insurance data on birth certificates, thus linking self-reported insurance coverage to birth outcomes.

During 1994 and 1995, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine designed and tested a survey that validated the accuracy of the insurance data on California's birth certificates.

Key Findings

  • The research team concluded that despite possible underreporting in some insurance categories and a lack of quality assurance in the birth records process, California's vital statistics can be reliably used in research investigating the link between maternal insurance and prenatal care.

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