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To increase access to obstetric services and relieve the pressure on the Los Angeles County public health system, the Southern California Health Policy Research Consortium designed the Prenatal and OB Access project, which enlists private health care facilities to provide these services to Medicaid-eligible women. This report describes baseline data drawn from vital statistics for the year before the intervention and describes a strategy for evaluating data collected as part of that project, according to an extensive set of comparisons of participating hospitals to (1) all of the Los Angeles County, (2) women delivering who reside in the hospital’s own catchment areas but deliver at nonparticipating hospitals, and (3) women delivering at other similar hospitals. Other important measures of the success of the interventions beyond shifting the deliveries from public to private institutions are earlier initiation of prenatal care, higher birthweights, and reduced infant mortality — measures that may be difficult to relate directly to the intervention project.

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