Predicting and Reducing Adverse Birth Outcomes

Fellows: Rashida Brown, Laura Nolan, Ian Pan
Mentor: Romana Khan
Project Manager: Paul van der Boor
Project Partner: Illinois Department of Human Services
[Project Blog Post]

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offers many programs to help families in the state receive important assistance, education, and care. One such initiative, Better Birth Outcomes, is an intensive case management program for pregnant women at high risk of adverse birth outcomes such as mortality, extended hospital stays, or disability. Once enrolled, these mothers receive prenatal health education, coordination of medical care, and other social services. Currently, IDHS targets this program to areas in the state with high rates of poor birth outcomes, but they want to use data to find and enroll specific expectant mothers throughout the state who would most benefit from support.

DSSG will build models that predict the most at-risk pregnant women in Illinois, so that IDHS can better target enrollment for Better Birth Outcomes. The team will use Medicaid data, historical data from mothers enrolled in the Better Birth Outcomes program, and other sources to more accurately identify individuals and locations where IDHS should concentrate their interventions in order to maximize their impact. These new approaches will help IDHS find pregnant women in Illinois with the greatest needs and provide them with essential services for increasing the chance of a healthy birth and child.