Objective: To examine the effect of Medicaid managed care (MMC) versus Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS) on emergency department (ED) use and hospitalization during the first 6 and 12 months of life among low-birth-weight (LBW) infants. Methods: We used the New York City Office of Vital Statistics—Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (OVS-SPARCS) dataset to identify 9135 LBW infants born to female Medicaid beneficiaries in New York City from January 2008–March 2012. We applied a robust regression discontinuity framework using a New York State Medicaid policy in effect at that time. This policy automatically enrolled infants born to female Medicaid beneficiaries to Medicaid managed care (MMC) or Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS) based on their birth weight (less than 1200 g vs. 1200–2500 g) during the first 6 months of their lives. Results: LBW infants in MMC had an average 0.16% points higher probability of being hospitalized within the first year of their lives than those in Medicaid FFS (p-value = 0.04). Conclusions for Practice: More research is necessary to understand possible differences in healthcare utilization between MMC and FFS participants with high health risks.
- Emergency department and hospital utilization
- Low-birth-weight infants