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MIHP for All: Exploring the Impact of Universal Maternal and Infant Home Visiting on Health Outcomes

The project: This project supports the Youth Policy Lab, along with researchers at Michigan Medicine and staff from Michigan Medicine’s Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP), to jointly explore a set of research and policy questions designed to help understand ways to improve maternal and infant health outcomes in Michigan. The research investigates the impact of offering home visiting universally to all women, regardless of insurance status, on participation rates and the health outcomes of mothers and babies. Prior research suggests that offering social services universally can reduce stigma, increase program awareness and have a substantial impact on participation rates.

The process: Researchers fielded a survey of prenatal patients to understand their awareness and perceptions of home visiting and explored avenues for piloting a universal home visit program.

Results: Key findings from the survey included:

  • Stigma does not appear to be a major barrier to home visiting participation.
  • Awareness of home visiting programs is low and is lowest among the Medicaid population who are mostly likely to be eligible for home visiting services.
  • Many families do not want a home visitor to come into their home. This may, in part, be related to heightened anxiety due to COVID-19, but a survey conducted in a sample of Medicaid eligible families in Southeast Michigan pre-COVID revealed similar attitudes, so this is an area to focus on moving forward.
  • Families were open to virtual visits. Eighty-nine percent of respondents expressed willingness to participate in home visiting with at least some virtual component.

Robin Jacob, Institute for Social Research