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Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan

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Valuing the Costs and Benefits of Free Mobile Care for Pregnant Mothers and Infants

Access to prenatal and newborn care are critical components to improve birth outcomes and reduce infant deaths. Despite Medicaid expansion, many families in Michigan lack health insurance and access to care. Such families often face overwhelming barriers to care including limited or no transportation, poverty, childcare, competing demands, and work
schedules. Since 2016, the Luke Clinic in Detroit has provided twice-monthly free care for prenatal and postpartum mothers and their infants through one year of life.

In 2020 the Luke Clinic piloted the Mobile Antenatal Testing Unit (MATU), providing community/home-based care to families with high-risk pregnancies and social barriers to care. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the MATU became a bridge to care for many families for whom it is unsafe to attend clinic appointments or who need hands-on testing in combination with virtual medical care. This project supports the evaluation of the MATU project to provide the basis for future improvements and quality care.

Katherine Gold, U-M Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology