- Jessica Cohen, PhD — Bruce A. Beal, Robert L. Beal and Alexander S. Beal Associate Professor of Global Health, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Impact of Medicaid Payment for Immediate Long-Acting Reversible Contraception on Postpartum Contraception, Birth Spacing and Infant Health
Contraceptive autonomy and the ability to choose if and when to get pregnant again is foundational to postpartum health and wellbeing. Ensuring that postpartum people have access to the full range of effective contraceptive methods can help prevent unintended, short-interval pregnancies, which are associated with a range of adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. In 2012, South Carolina Medicaid began reimbursing providers for the provision of immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) separate from the global delivery care bundle. Since then, more than half of state Medicaid programs have followed suit. We analyze the impact of this Medicaid payment policy change in a group of early adopting states on a range of outcomes, including contraceptive choice, birth intervals, and infant health. We explore the impact of the policy on spillovers to commercially-insured births and the targeting of immediate postpartum LARCs both within and across hospitals.
Jessica L. Cohen, PhD is a health and behavioral economist whose research uses randomized controlled trials and other rigorous quasi-experimental methods to evaluate the impact of maternal and child health programs and policies, both in the United States and East African countries. Dr. Cohen’s research explores the behavioral channels by which health policies translate into health outcomes, with the aim of embedding this evidence into policy design and increasing policy impact. Dr. Cohen has conducted randomized controlled trials to evaluate the impact of incentives, subsidies, information, and decision architecture on health seeking behavior and health outcomes in the domains of malaria and maternal health from the prenatal through the postnatal period. Her research uses concepts from economics and psychology to explore drivers of critical health behaviors including maternity care seeking, postpartum contraception, and child nutrition.