News Center for Advancing Health Services, Policy & Economics Research Health Equity

Center releases publications that help promote health equity locally, and across Missouri

Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health

The Center for Health Economics and Policy continues its goal of driving more equitable health policy by publishing several materials intended to address public health issues that impact our city and state. The center’s latest publications include a blog post updating audiences on how Medicaid expansion has affected enrollment during the past year; and a new policy brief showing that providing culturally congruent community-based doula services can improve birth outcomes. Both publications are available on the center’s website.

The blog post, written by center co-Director, Timothy McBride, PhD, updates readers on the cumulative increase in Medicaid enrollment following expansion of the program, which was passed by voters in 2020 and began enrolling newly eligible individuals on October 1, 2021.

McBride reports that under expansion, enrollment in the adult expansion group in Medicaid eligibility increased to about 270,000 after one year. An open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act marketplaces began November 1, and significant increases in Medicaid enrollment are expected as people seek out insurance coverage. Read the blog post. Readers can also explore Missouri Medicaid monthly enrollment trends through the center’s user-friendly dashboard.

The Center for Health Economics and Policy is also committed to providing policy briefs and white papers, which offer analysis of health-related issues framed for a policy-focused audience. The latest policy brief: “The Role of Culturally Congruent Community-based Doula Services in Improving Key Birth Outcomes in Kansas City” reports on data from Uzazi Village, a Black-owned Kansas City organization providing culturally congruent community-based doula services since 2012 to a predominantly Black clientele.

Improvements in three key health outcomes (gestational age, birthweight, and APGAR scores) were associated with doula services provided by Uzazi Village, in comparison to Kansas City Health Department outcome data for Black births in the same ZIP codes. This evidence can help inform the policy discussion regarding the addition of Medicaid coverage for doula services in Missouri as a component of a strategy to improve health equity within the maternal and infant health domain.

For more information about the Center for Health Economics and Policy and its mission to develop and advance long-lasting solutions that achieve health equity, stay connected to the center website or sign up for our newsletter.