Closing the Performance Gap for Low Income Women’s Prenatal Care

Closing the Performance Gap for Low Income Women’s Prenatal Care

The healthcare organization that this paper will focus on is the American Pregnancy Association. The non-profit organization was founded in the year 1995, and its headquarters is in Irving, Texas (American Pregnancy Association, n.d.). The specialty of the organization is in pregnancy and the health of the women. The organization has a medical advisory committee that provide clients with accurate and up-to-date information regarding their reproductive, pregnancy, and sexual needs. With the goal of improving the health of women, the organization primarily focuses on the following four areas. First, it has the responsibility to serve as a strong advocate and provide women with quality health care. It promotes pregnancy and family health issues by lobbying insurance providers, legislatures, and business (American Pregnancy Association, n.d.).

Second, the organization works to maintain high standards of clinical practice and provide continuous education to women and families who endure challenges to fertility and pregnancy wellness. Third, it aims to promote patients education and ensure they understand and engage in medical care (American Pregnancy Association, n.d.). The organization provides support through their interactive website and the toll-free helpline. Fourth, it focusses on increasing awareness among the public and its members on the ever-changing issues that affect the healthcare of women. It is the task of the organization to increase the society’s awareness of the reproductive and pregnancy needs.

Early prenatal care results to a healthy outcome to both the mother and the child. According to numerous studies, mothers who do not receive prenatal care have higher chances of delivering underweight babies than those who regularly receive prenatal care. During the first trimester, substantial fetal development takes place. With health assessment and screening, physicians can identify mothers and babies who are at risk for complications. Therefore, when a woman suspects she is pregnant, she should schedule a meeting with the health care provider to begin her prenatal care. The American Pregnancy Association faces performance gap challenges when it comes to dealing with low-income women who would like to get prenatal care. The gap that the organization will address is the suboptimal patient outcomes due to lack of actions from the healthcare providers. The organization needs to improve the quality of prenatal care for low-income women.

Performance gap refers to the difference that exists between the present status of the organization and its desired performance. Globally, healthcare organizations face the challenge of doing more with fewer resources. As an organization, we tend to improve the performance of low-income women seeking prenatal care without reducing their services. Low-income women consist of people, who lag behind in terms insurance cover, income, and employment (Camargo Jr, 2011). Inequalities in reproductive health are one of the challenges that the government tries to resolve in health care facilities. With Medicaid eligibility expansion, many low-income women have been able to undergo early prenatal care to improve the chances of delivering healthy babies. Although the policy has been effective, gaps in health care persist.

The organization will address this gap because of the following reasons. First, low-income women who seek prenatal care experience a low level of education and professional opportunities (Johnson, 2012). With such disparities, employees might take the advantage and refuse to offer them the necessary assistance required. The suboptimal patient outcome is something that an organization should not tolerate, and it should do whatever it takes to reduce sexual and reproductive health disparities among low-income women. Second, since the organization aims at promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness, it must ensure that employees get education and training on implementing the new technology. The existence of suboptimal patient outcome might be due to lack of educational support and ineffective management. For the organization to close the performance gap, it requires engaging in research and educational work since it the foundation to more reproductive discoveries.

Third, lack of quality prenatal care for low-income women would result in prematurity and negative outcome. The primary cause of newborn deaths in the country is prematurity. It is important for the organization to close the gap on the suboptimal patient outcome to reduce health risks to both the mother and baby. According to research, low-income women who did not utilize the services of Medicaid to receive prenatal care had 21% higher rate of delivering underweight babies compared to those who received the services through Medicaid (Camargo Jr, 2011). Similarly, with premature births, health care organizations endure significant costs since the facility will have to treat issues related to prematurity.



American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Promoting Pregnancy Wellness. Retrieved August 19, 2016, from

Camargo Jr, K. R. D. (2011). Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Global public health, 6(1), 102-105.

Johnson, K. (2012). Addressing women’s health needs and improving birth outcomes: results from a peer-to-peer state Medicaid learning project. Issue Brief (Commonw Fund), 21, 1-19.



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