Interesting report about neonatal [newborn] outcome and a woman's insurance status:
Neonatal outcomes were the same for uninsured mothers as for those who had health insurance in a study of nearly 8,000 births in Tennessee, Mark F. Sewell, M.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Uninsured women were more likely to deliver prematurely, but that did not adversely affect the outcomes of their infants, whose overall morbidity and mortality were comparable with those for the infants of insured mothers, said Dr. Sewell of MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland.
Uninsured women were more likely to be Hispanic than white, African American, or of other ethnic backgrounds. They were less likely to receive prenatal care, and those who did obtain prenatal care did so on average 1 month later in their pregnancies than insured women.
Uninsured mothers were more likely to have preterm delivery than were insured mothers (21% vs. 15%). Nevertheless, there were no differences between the two groups in perinatal or neonatal outcomes as measured by the rates of low birth weight, low Apgar scores*, morbidity, and mortality.
*The Apgar score is named after the physician who devised it in 1952, Dr. Virginia Apgar.