A comparative analysis of CHIP Perinatal policy in twelve states

Leah Simone Fischer, The University of Texas School of Public Health


The purpose of this comparative analysis of CHIP Perinatal policy (42 CFR § 457) was to provide a basis for understanding the variation in policy outputs across the twelve states that, as of June 2007, implemented the Unborn Child rule. This Department of Health and Human Services regulation expanded in 2002 the definition of “child” to include the period from conception to birth, allowing states to consider an unborn child a “targeted low-income child” and therefore eligible for SCHIP coverage. Specific study aims were to (1) describe typologically the structural and contextual features of the twelve states that adopted a CHIP Perinatal policy; (2) describe and differentiate among the various designs of CHIP Perinatal policy implemented in the states; and (3) develop a conceptual model that links the structural and contextual features of the adopting states to differences in the forms the policy assumed, once it was implemented. Secondary data were collected from publicly available information sources to describe characteristics of states’ political system, health system, economic system, sociodemographic context and implemented policy attributes. I posited that socio-demographic differences, political system differences and health system differences would directly account for the observed differences in policy output among the states. Exploratory data analysis techniques, which included median polishing and multidimensional scaling, were employed to identify compelling patterns in the data. Scaled results across model components showed that economic system was most closely related to policy output, followed by health system. Political system and socio-demographic characteristics were shown to be weakly associated with policy output. Goodness-of-fit measures for MDS solutions implemented across states and model components, in one- and two-dimensions, were very good. This comparative policy analysis of twelve states that adopted and implemented HHS Regulation 42 C.F.R. § 457 contributes to existing knowledge in three areas: CHIP Perinatal policy, public health policy and policy sciences. First, the framework allows for the identification of CHIP Perinatal program design possibilities and provides a basis for future studies that evaluate policy impact or performance. Second, studies of policy determinants are not well represented in the health policy literature. Thus, this study contributes to the development of the literature in public health policy. Finally, the conceptual framework for policy determinants developed in this study suggests new ways for policy makers and practitioners to frame policy arguments, encouraging policy change or reform.

Subject Area

Public health|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Fischer, Leah Simone, "A comparative analysis of CHIP Perinatal policy in twelve states" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3350227.