Impact of Augmented Prenatal Care on Birth Outcomes of Medicaid Recipients in New York City

Theodore Joyce

NBER Working Paper No. 6029
Issued in May 1997
NBER Program(s):Health Economics

I examine whether New York State's Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP) is associated with greater use of prenatal services and improved birth outcomes. PCAP is New York State's augmented prenatal care initiative that became a part of the Medicaid program after expansion in income eligibility thresholds in January, 1990. Data are from the linkage of Medicaid administrative files with New York City birth certificates (N=23,243). For women on cash assistance, I find PCAP is associated with a 20 percent increase in the likelihood of enrollment in WIC, an increase in mean birth weight of 35 grams and a 1.3 percentage point drop in the rate of low birth weight. Associations between PCAP and improved birth outcomes for women on medical assistance are similar, but appear contaminated by selection bias. Reductions in newborn costs associated with PCAP participation are modest, between $100-$300 dollars per recipient, and are insufficient to offset program expenditures.

download in pdf format
   (594 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6029

Published: Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 18, no. 1 (January 1999): 31-67 citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Mocan w5293 The Child Care Industry: Cost Functions, Efficiency, and Quality
Kaestner and Lee w9769 The Effect of Welfare Reform on Prenatal Care and Birth Weight
Frank, Strobino, Salkever, and Jackson w3215 Poverty Programs, Initiation Of Prenatal Care And The Rate Of Low Birthweight Births
Kaestner, Dubay, and Kenney w8936 Medicaid Managed Care and Infant Health: A National Evaluation
Walker, Tekin, and Wallace w13386 Teen Smoking and Birth Outcomes
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us