Postpartum Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Readmissions in a Medicaid Population of Mothers

Deborah B. Ehrenthal, Katie Gelinas, David A. Paul, Abiy Agiro, Cynthia Denemark, Anthony J. Brazen, Michael Pollack, Matthew K. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Little comprehensive literature exists to broadly examine risk factors for emergency department (ED) utilization or inpatient admission after obstetrical delivery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of Medicaid-insured women from 2009 to 2012 who delivered at a regional perinatal center in the Mid-Atlantic. Women were included if Medicaid was the primary payer of record for the delivery and there was continuous 9-month predelivery Medicaid eligibility. Electronic obstetrical data were linked to Medicaid claims for 9-month prenatal and 6-month postpartum care following delivery. Negative binomial regression was used to examine factors associated with an ED visit; multivariable logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with hospital admission.

RESULTS: Following 4484 births, 1564 (34.9%) mothers had an ED visit, and 298 (6.6%) a hospital admission, within 6 months of delivery. Mother's race was significantly associated with both ED visits and inpatient admissions, whereas age and marital status were associated with ED use. Medical comorbidities, tobacco and substance use, cesarean delivery, and severe obstetrical morbidity were associated with both ED visits and hospital admission. In addition, both prenatal opioid use and bipolar disorder increased the odds of ED use and hospital admission.

CONCLUSIONS: Medical, social, and behavioral characteristics of women, as well as cesarean delivery, were associated with increased medical utilization in the postpartum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-991
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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