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Georgia To End Medicaid Payments For Some Early Births

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File photo of newborn babies resting. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

File photo of newborn babies resting. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Georgia health officials are hoping to improve care — and save money — by steering pregnant women and doctors away from some early deliveries.

Officials say the state is 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.

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