On this page we present detailed results for our Family Connects in Chicago, IL. You can find information about the following topics:
We utilize birth data from Chicago to obtain an estimate of the cohort size grouped by race/ethnicity and income less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). On the left is a table describing the subgroup percentage of the total number of births (37,852) by percent of Federal Poverty Line (FPL) and Group.
In the first year following Family Connects, infants in Chicago would spend approximately 28,000 fewer nights in the hospital as a result of the intervention. In the second year following the program, an additional 4,000 overnights would be averted.
Black, Non-Hispanic infants below 200% FPL would have the reduction in the number of hospital overnights for infants (~10,000 fewer in year 1 and ~1,000 fewer in year 2). Hispanics below 200% FPL would also see a large reduction in hospital overnights. Comparatively, White, Non-Hispanic, infants below 200% FPL would experience a much smaller reduction in their low-birthweight rate.
Although we suspect the program may reduce ED visits as well, we did not include this outcome here since the effect of the program on this outcome was not found to be statistically significant in the original academic literature.
Additionally, we provide local estimates of reductions in hospital overnights in the first year, as well as the reduction per birth, in the maps above.
Additionally, we project six fewer cases of child abuse or neglect as a result of the Family Connects intervention.
With implementation of Family Connects, mothers are expected to see improved mental health outcomes after giving birth. Postpartum depression rates are anticipated to fall from 21.6% to 16.0% (2,130 averted cases) and maternal anxiety rates are anticipated to fall from 8.6% to 5.8% (1,074 averted cases).
The percentage point change in maternal mental health outcomes are relatively similar across race/ethnicity groups, but do vary across different levels of income.
The returns to state and local government would be $0.51 per dollar invested if they were to assume the total program cost of $27.7 million, respectively. $12.1 million savings would come via reduced hospital expenditures for treating Medicaid patients.
Private insurers and hospitals themselves would benefit from the program as well (although these financial effects are not counted in the return on investment figure cited above). Private insurers would save approximately $5.7 million from reduced hospital overnights and hospitals would spend approximately $400,000 less on uncompensated care.
Our estimates of these savings are taken from average ZIP-level hospital charges for overnights of infants (minus delivery of newborns) by race/ethnicity. However, even within ZIP codes, charges can be quite variable (varying across hospitals as well as over time). Furthermore, charges are generally not reflective of true costs - with hospital estimates, researchers will employ charge-to-cost ratios to correct for this, but since our estimates were not conducted at the hospital level we unable to make this adjustment.
Therefore we have provided more information of these cost savings below as a reference.
Sources of Financial Returns
At the local and state level, the majority of savings from the program, almost 90 percent in total, comes from reduced Medicaid expenditures due to fewer hospital overnights. The majority of these returns come in first year of the infant's life.