Objectives Strategies to prevent preterm birth are limited. 17 Alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate (17P) injections have been shown to be effective, but the intervention is under-used. This mixed methods study investigates barriers and facilitators to 17P administration among Medicaid and CHIP participants enrolled in Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns, a federal preterm birth prevention program. Methods Twenty-seven awardees with more than 200 sites in 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico enrolled approximately 46,000 women in Strong Start from 2013 to 2016. Participant data, including data on preterm birth and 17P, was collected for each woman. Intensive interviews (n = 211) conducted with Strong Start program staff and providers (n = 314) included questions about 17P provision. Results Of women whose data included a valid response regarding 17P initiation, 3919 had a prior preterm birth and current singleton pregnancy; 14.95% received 17P. Barriers to 17P administration include late entry to prenatal care, administrative burden of preauthorization, cost risks to providers, limits in scope of practice for non-physician providers, and social barriers among participants. Facilitators for provision include streamlined work flows and the option of home administration. Conclusions for Practice A universal insurance authorization process could mitigate many barriers to 17P use. Providers need continuing education regarding the effectiveness of 17P, and expanding scope of practice for non-physician prenatal care providers would increase access. Targeted program interventions can help to overcome social barriers Medicaid participants face in accessing care. Streamlined work processes and the option of home health services are two effective program-based facilitators for providing 17P to a Medicaid population.
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