Improving Access to Prenatal Care in the First Trimester


Impact Statement: 
Access to prenatal care contributes to successful birth outcomes. A Kansas health department found that patients had challenges completing the application process for the Medicaid Children’s Health Insurance Program. By conducting patient education and assistance with the application, the health department increased the percentage of women accessing prenatal care in the first trimester.
The Lower 8 of Southeast Kansas collaborated to address barriers to early prenatal care after identifying that many women did not receive care during the first trimester of their pregnancy. Information uncovered in the Kansas Information for Communities (KIC) identified that the 15- to 24-year-old age group was more likely to receive inadequate prenatal care. In the years 2003–2007, a total of 35% of women in this age group did not receive prenatal care in the first trimester. There were 77 births with no prenatal care received. Data were reviewed, and anecdotal information was collected, revealing that a lack of insurance was a major contributing factor for receiving prenatal care. The Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) application process appeared to be a bottleneck. A goal was set to increase by 2% the number of eligible women in Medicaid/CHIP enrolled by the first trimester. Each public health region represented practiced the same approach with these women while educating them and providing assistance in completion of the application form. Tools for collecting the information were simplified and included a checklist to verify completion of pertinent steps to perform at each visit. All staff were trained on the form and reviewed the Medicaid/CHIP application form and process.
Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Lower 8 of Southeast Kansas Regional Preparedness Group

Baugher, D. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Improving Access to Prenatal Care in the First Trimester. Fri, 11/16/2018 - 11:21. Available at Accessed May 20, 2024.

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