Graham Center One-Pager

Family Physicians Are an Important Source of Newborn Care: The Case of the State of Maine



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Am Fam Physician. 2003 Aug 15;68(4):593-594.

Family physicians (FPs) provided 30 percent of inpatient newborn care in Maine in the year 2000. FPs cared for a large proportion of newborns, especially those insured by Medicaid and in smaller, rural hospitals where FPs also delivered babies. Family medicine's commitment to serve vulnerable populations of newborns requires continued federal, state, and institutional support for training and development of future FPs.

We analyzed Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project data for Maine in 2000, identifying the provision of all newborn services by physician specialty. The 501 FPs and 174 pediatricians, including neonatologists and specialists, practicing in Maine provided the vast majority of inpatient care to newborns. FPs cared for 30 percent of all newborns and 35 percent of normal newborns. In all hospitals where FPs provided delivery services, they provided the same or greater proportion of newborn services.

Inpatient Newborn Services Provided by Pediatricians and FPs in Maine, 2000

Pediatrician contribution (%) FP contribution (%) Total

Total newborn care*

9,149 (67)

4,142 (30)

13,746

Normal newborn care*

5,470 (62)

3,040 (34)

8,822

Term newborn with problem*

2,442 (70)

938 (27)

3,488

Premature newborn*

711 (86)

102 (12)

829

Insurance (cases per specialty)*†

8,943

4,112

13,688

Private

5,975 (69)

2,345 (27)

8,649

Medicaid

2,302 (59)

1,368 (35)

3,920

Self-pay

414 (53)

329 (42)

784

Distribution of deliveries by hospital size*

More than 60 beds (n = 15)

7,573 (73)

2,751 (27)

10,333

Less than 60 beds (n = 16)

1,395 (50)

1,391 (50)

2,787

Location of hospital*

Metropolitan statistical areas

4,064 (73)

1,481 (27)

5,553

Nonmetropolitan statistical areas

4,761 (64)

2,619 (35)

7,382


FP = family physician.

*—Pediatrician and FP contribution does not equal 100 percent because of contribution of others.

†—Insurance distribution, hospital size, and hospital location data does not equal total newborn care because of missing data.

Inpatient Newborn Services Provided by Pediatricians and FPs in Maine, 2000

View Table

Inpatient Newborn Services Provided by Pediatricians and FPs in Maine, 2000

Pediatrician contribution (%) FP contribution (%) Total

Total newborn care*

9,149 (67)

4,142 (30)

13,746

Normal newborn care*

5,470 (62)

3,040 (34)

8,822

Term newborn with problem*

2,442 (70)

938 (27)

3,488

Premature newborn*

711 (86)

102 (12)

829

Insurance (cases per specialty)*†

8,943

4,112

13,688

Private

5,975 (69)

2,345 (27)

8,649

Medicaid

2,302 (59)

1,368 (35)

3,920

Self-pay

414 (53)

329 (42)

784

Distribution of deliveries by hospital size*

More than 60 beds (n = 15)

7,573 (73)

2,751 (27)

10,333

Less than 60 beds (n = 16)

1,395 (50)

1,391 (50)

2,787

Location of hospital*

Metropolitan statistical areas

4,064 (73)

1,481 (27)

5,553

Nonmetropolitan statistical areas

4,761 (64)

2,619 (35)

7,382


FP = family physician.

*—Pediatrician and FP contribution does not equal 100 percent because of contribution of others.

†—Insurance distribution, hospital size, and hospital location data does not equal total newborn care because of missing data.

Family physicians provided newborn services to more than one third of newborns in Maine insured by Medicaid, and nearly one half of newborns with no insurance. FPs contributed to a higher proportion of newborn services in smaller, rural hospitals. In the most rural counties of the nonmetropolitan statistical counties, FPs provided 43 percent of newborn services, and in metropolitan counties, FPs provided 27 percent of newborn services. FPs accounted for nearly one third of total newborn services provided in larger hospitals (more than 60 beds) and one half of total newborn services in smaller hospitals (less than 60 beds).

A large proportion of Maine's newborns relied on FPs for care in 2000. Factors that limit the training and role of FPs in newborn care may limit access to services available to newborns, especially those insured by Medicaid and in smaller, rural hospitals.

Adapted from Graham Center One-Pager #21. Cohen D, Guirguis-Blake J, Jack B, Chetty VK, Phillips RL, Green LA, Fryer GE. Family physicians are an important source of newborn care: the case of the state of Maine. August 2003. Available at: www.graham-center.org/410.xml. From the Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Practice and Primary Care, 1350 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 950, Washington, DC 20036 (telephone: 202-986-5708; fax: 202-986-7034; e-mail: policy@aafp.org).

note: The information and opinions contained in research from the Graham Center do not necessarily reflect the views or the policy of the AAFP.

 


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