ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia health officials are hoping to improve care -- and save money -- by steering pregnant women and doctors away from some early deliveries.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that state officials are doing this by eliminating Medicaid payments for elective C-sections and induced deliveries before 39 weeks.
The move, which will take effect July 1, will save the state's ailing Medicaid health program for the poor an estimated $7 million this fiscal year and next by avoiding costly medical complications and stays in neonatal intensive care units.
Christopher Schrimpf, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Community Health, says the move was a policy decision "that will result in better health outcomes for Georgia families." The agency oversees Medicaid in the state.