Timeliness of Prenatal Care

We know that healthy mothers and babies who are connected to healthcare have better health outcomes and healthy children are better prepared to learn and thrive.  For example, mothers who do not receive prenatal care in the first trimester are three times more likely to deliver a low birth weight baby. The State of Oregon tracks the timeliness of accessing prenatal care as part of its efforts to improve early access to effective prenatal and maternal care for Medicaid members.

prenatal care statisticsImproving the timeliness of prenatal care can lead to significantly better health outcomes for our region as more than 56 percent of all babies born in Central Oregon in 2013 were covered by Medicaid, compared to just over 40 percent for Oregon.  Timeliness of care is measured by tracking the percentage of women who receive a prenatal visit in the first trimester.

Currently, 76 percent of expectant mothers on Medicaid in our region access prenatal care in the first trimester, or within 42 weeks of enrolling in the Oregon Health Plan in 2013.  This includes Wasco and Hood River Counties along with the three Central Oregon counties: Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson. 

For all births, not just those covered by Medicaid, the rate of mothers receiving first trimester care in Oregon is 78 percent. The same data for Central Oregon show county variation, with Jefferson County showing a statistically significant lower rate than that of the state.

Data Sources:

  • Hargunani, Dana. “Medicaid Funded Births [in 2013].” Oregon Health Authority, Office of Health Analytics. E-mail to authors, June 23, 2014.
  • Oregon Health Authority, Office of Quality and Accountability. “Timeliness of Prenatal Care.” Accessed December 6, 2014. http://www.oregon.gov/oha/Metrics/Pages/measure-prenatal-timeliness.aspx (*PacificSource data include Central Oregon and Hood River and Wasco counties.)
  • Oregon Health Authority. “Prenatal Care by Mother’s County of Residence.” Vital Statistics, Table 8, 2013. Accessed February 12, 2015. https://public.health.oregon.gov/BirthDeathCertificates/VitalStatistics/annualreports/CountyDataBook/cdb2013/Documents/table08.pdf.

References: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Prenatal Services. “Maternal and Child Health.” Accessed February 12, 2015. http://mchb.hrsa.gov /programs /womeninfants/prenatal.html.