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Improving Outcomes

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Study shows doula support in labor reduces c-sections, costs for women on Medicaid
State Medicaid programs stand to save millions by reimbursing doula services for pregnant women, according to a new study from Minnesota. The study examined outcomes of 1,079 Medicaid-funded singleton births supported by doulas from 2010 to 2012 and used statistical methods to estimate the reduction in cesarean deliveries and costs compared with a nationwide sample of 279,008 Medicaid births. Consistent with previous research, the study found a 40% reduction in cesarean delivery. Based on this difference, they researchers determined that up to a quarter of state Medicaid programs could each save more than $2.5 million yearly by reimbursing doula services. The study is published in the American Journal of Public Health.

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