JAMA: Risk Factors for Severe Maternal Morbidity Among Women Enrolled in Mississippi Medicaid

Risk Factors for Severe Maternal Morbidity Among Women Enrolled in Mississippi Medicaid


Importance  Mississippi has one of the highest rates of severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in the US, and SMMs have been reported to be more frequent among Medicaid-insured women. A substantial proportion of pregnant women in Mississippi are covered by Medicaid; hence, there is a need to identify potential risk factors for SMM in this population.

Objective  To examine the associations of health care access and clinical and sociodemographic characteristics with SMM events among Mississippi Medicaid–enrolled women who had a live birth.

Design, Setting, and Participants  A nested case-control study was conducted using 2018 to 2021 Mississippi Medicaid administrative claims database. The study included Medicaid beneficiaries aged 12 to 55 years who had a live birth and were continuously enrolled throughout their pregnancy period and 12 months after delivery. Individuals in the case group had SMM events and were matched to controls on their delivery date using incidence density sampling. Data analysis was performed from June to September 2022.

Exposure  Risk factors examined in the study included sociodemographic factors (age and race), health care access (distance from delivery center, social vulnerability index, and level of maternity care), and clinical factors (maternal comorbidity index, first-trimester pregnancy-related visits, and postpartum care).

Main Outcomes and Measures  The main outcome of the study was an SMM event. Adjusted odds ratio (aORs) and 95% CIs were calculated using conditional logistic regression.

Results  Among 13 485 Mississippi Medicaid–enrolled women (mean [SD] age, 25.0 [5.6] years; 8601 [63.8%] Black; 4419 [32.8%] White; 465 [3.4%] other race [American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, multiracial, and unknown]) who had a live birth, 410 (3.0%) were in the case group (mean [SD] age, 26.8 [6.4] years; 289 [70.5%] Black; 112 [27.3%] White; 9 [2.2%] other race) and 820 were in the matched control group (mean [SD] age, 24.9 [5.7] years; 518 [63.2%] Black; 282 [34.4%] White; 20 [2.4%] other race). Black individuals (aOR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.08-1.93) and those with higher maternal comorbidity index (aOR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.16-1.40) had higher odds of experiencing SMM compared with White individuals and those with lower maternal comorbidity index, respectively. Likewise, an increase of 100 miles (160 km) in distance between beneficiaries’ residence to the delivery center was associated with higher odds of experiencing SMM (aOR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.07-1.20).

Conclusions and Relevance  The study findings hold substantial implications for identifying high-risk individuals within Medicaid programs and call for the development of targeted multicomponent, multilevel interventions for improving maternal health outcomes in this highly vulnerable population.