Motivation in Medicaid programs for promoting preventive care compliance
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Traditionally, the compliance rates with preventive care services for members in the Medicaid Program are significantly lower than their peers enrolled in a commercial health insurance plan even when there are no financial costs for those services to Medicaid members. Start of life services which include prenatal care for pregnant mothers and well-child visits for newborns and infants are used to focus the research. Non-compliance, defined as not receiving recommended preventive services within the timeframe expected, has large financial and societal costs. Women who receive only the minimal prenatal care are at high risk for developing pregnancy complications and having negative birth outcomes while those that failed to receive prenatal care were three times more likely to have a low-birth weight infant. Within the first 6 months of life, children with incomplete visits are 60 percent more likely to visit the emergency room. They may have untreated development delays and disabilities, which occur in approximately 13 percent of children and are estimated to cost $417,000 in direct medical costs and indirect lost productivity per child. This thesis looks at motivational theories and economic incentives in practice in the health care industry to address the lack of compliance of services. It will analyze the problem from the perspective of how does a business, the State Medicaid Program or Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO), get a customer, the Medicaid population, to perform a specific behavior, receive preventive care services using motivational theories.