Decline in Frequency of Newborn Male Circumcision After Change in Medicaid Coverage Status in Selected States in the United States.Public Health Rep. 2021 May; 136(3):338-344.PH
Male circumcision is linked to a reduction in the risk of HIV infection, sexually transmitted infections, penile inflammatory skin disorders, cancers, urinary tract infections, and other complications. We examined the extent to which the change in circumcision recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1999 and Medicaid coverage status in states affected the total number of procedures performed.
We used data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for 1998-2011 collected annually by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. We examined data on all male births in the United States with Medicaid and private health insurance. We then categorized births into 4 groups: (1) births with newborn male circumcision procedure, (2) births with Medicaid or private health insurance, (3) births that occurred in states where Medicaid coverage for newborn male circumcision was removed, and (4) births that occurred before or after the policy change. We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the adjusted odds of newborn male circumcision.
In the 10 states where a change in Medicaid policy occurred, circumcision frequency had a mean percentage-point decrease of 21.4% among Medicaid beneficiaries and 3.2% among private health insurance beneficiaries from before to after the policy change. In states where coverage was maintained, the change in circumcision frequency was negligible for Medicaid and private health insurance beneficiaries. These changes resulted in an estimated 163 456 potential circumcisions not performed.
Decreases in newborn male circumcision frequency correlated with the Medicaid policy change for the procedure. Efforts should be made to reduce barriers for cost-effective preventive procedures that promote health, such as newborn male circumcision.