Background: Forty-five percent of births in the United States are unintended, and the costs of unintended pregnancy and birth are substantial. Clinical and policy interventions that increase access to the most effective reversible contraceptive methods (intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants) have potential to generate significant cost savings. Evidence of cost savings for these interventions is needed. Objective: The purpose of this study was to conduct a cost-savings analysis of the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, which provided counseling and no-cost contraception, to demonstrate the value of investment in enhanced contraceptive care to the Missouri Medicaid program. Study Design: The Contraceptive CHOICE Project was a prospective cohort study of 9256 reproductive-age women who were enrolled between 2007 and 2011. Study follow-up was completed October 2013. This analysis includes 5061 Contraceptive CHOICE Project participants who were current Missouri Medicaid beneficiaries or were uninsured and reported household incomes <201% of the federal poverty line. We created a simulated comparison group of women who were receiving care through the Missouri Title X program and modeled the contraception and pregnancy outcomes that would have occurred in the absence of the Contraceptive CHOICE Project. Data about contraceptive use for the comparison group (N=5061) were obtained from the Missouri Title X program and adjusted based on age, race, ethnicity, and income. To make an accurate comparison that would account for the difference in the 2 populations, we used our simulation model to estimate total Contraceptive CHOICE Project costs and total comparison group costs. We reported all costs in 2013 dollars to account for inflation. Results: Among the Contraceptive CHOICE Project participants who were included, the uptake of intrauterine devices and implants was 76.1% compared with 4.8% among the comparison group. The estimated contraceptive cost for the simulated Contraceptive CHOICE Project group was $4.0 million vs $2.3 million for the comparison group. The estimated numbers of unintended pregnancies and births averted among the simulated Contraceptive CHOICE Project group compared with the comparison group were 927 and 483, respectively, which represented a savings in pregnancy and maternity care of $6.7 million. We estimated that the total cost savings for the state of Missouri attributable to the Contraceptive CHOICE Project was $5.0 million (40.7%) over the project duration. Conclusion: A program providing counseling and no-cost contraception yields substantial cost savings because of the increased uptake of highly effective contraception and consequent averted unintended pregnancy and birth.
- contraceptive counseling
- cost-savings analysis
- intrauterine device
- long-acting reversible contraception