Disparities in infant mortality by payment source for delivery in the United States

Hye Jin Kim, Kyoung Bok Min, Yoo Joong Jung, Jin Young Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we hypothesized that infant mortality varies among health insurance status. Furthermore, we examined whether there are racial and ethnic disparities in the association between infant death and payment source for delivery. Our study used US national linked birth and infant death data for 2013 and 2017 collected by the National Center for Health Statistics and included 3,311,504 and 3,218,168 live births for each year. The principal source of payment for delivery was classified into three groups: Medicaid, private insurance, and self-payment. The outcome measures were infant mortality, neonatal mortality, and postneonatal mortality. Subgroup analysis for race and ethnicity was also performed. Overall infant mortality was lower in mothers who paid with private insurance than in those who paid with Medicaid insurance (RR = 0.87, 95% CI 0.84–0.90 in 2013; RR = 0.91, 95% CI 0.87–0.94 in 2017), but it was higher in self-paid women than in Medicaid-insured women at delivery (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.17–1.33 in 2013; RR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.08–1.24 in 2017). Non-Hispanic black (RR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.47–1.90 in 2013; RR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.00–1.35 in 2017) and Hispanic (RR = 1.30, 95% CI 1.17–1.44 in 2013; RR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.09–1.36 in 2017) mothers with self-payment had a higher risk for infant mortality than those with Medicaid at delivery. Newborns whose mothers have no health insurance would be more vulnerable to infant mortality than Medicaid beneficiaries, and non-white ethnic groups with self-payment would have an elevated risk of infant mortality among other racial and ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106361
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume145
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Health insurance
  • Infant mortality
  • Medicaid
  • Private insurance
  • Racial disparity
  • Self-payment

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