For Immediate Release
February 27, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

KDHE Reports Teen Pregnancy Rates Down
and Prenatal Care Better Than Healthy People 2020 Target

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has published two new research summaries: Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization Index and Adolescent and 2010 Teenage Pregnancy Report. The teen pregnancy report provides data to support assessment and evaluation of teen pregnancies in Kansas. The Prenatal Care report enables public health to identify inequities in the quantity of prenatal health care received. KDHE has a number of programs addressing both concerns.

The Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization Index shows the 2010 prenatal care described as inadequate decreased by 4.7 percent compared to 2009. Adequate care increased by 3.1 percent. While Kansas’ level of adequate care (79.8 percent) is better than the Healthy People 2020 target of 77.6 percent, inequities by population group and pay source continue. 

The KDHE Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative (PMI) program is addressing the prenatal health inequities by awarding grants to nonprofit organizations for services to enable pregnant women (any age) to carry their pregnancies to term. PMI services are based on a case management model with a goal to promote public/private partnerships to facilitate the availability and ready access to affordable and appropriate care, thus improving the potential for a positive pregnancy outcome for the childbearing woman and infant.

The Adolescent and Teenage Pregnancy Report added a new map this year comparing the 2010 county pregnancy rates relative to state pregnancy rates. The map gives a quick look at counties with rates statistically lower than the  state rate and those that rate statistically higher than the state rate. Pregnancy rates for Kansas females ages 10-19 dropped by 13.8 percent from 2009 to 2010. Rates among females aged 15-17 and 18-19 also dropped. Inequities continue to exist among population groups in Kansas. For example, pregnancy rates for Black non-Hispanic and Hispanic teens aged 10-17 are three times higher than the rate for White non-Hispanics of the same age group.

The KDHE Teen Pregnancy Targeted Case Management program takes into consideration the counties with rates statistically above the state rate when awarding grant funding for comprehensive case management services to pregnant and/or parenting adolescents in Kansas communities. The project’s goals are: to reduce negative consequences of teenage pregnancy for Medicaid-enrolled teens and their children; to increase levels of self-sufficiency and goal-directedness relating to their own futures and that of their children; and to delay subsequent childbearing until completion of goals related to basic education/training or they reach 21 years of age.

“Maintaining and improving family health is an essential component of the public health mission of KDHE,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer. “Facilitating healthy pregnancies and positive birth outcomes pays dividends to Kansas society in the form of reduced maternal and infant mortality and children capable of learning and growing into productive members of society.”

The Adequacy of Prenatal Care Utilization Index can be found at www.kdheks.gov/hci/kacui.html and the Adolescent and Teenage Pregnancy Report can be found at www.kdheks.gov/phi/index.htm.  

For more information about Children and Family services go to www.kdheks.gov/c-f/index.html.