News & Updates

Leaders in Obstetric Care Spotlight Strategies to Address Maternal Mortality and Persistent Racial Disparities in Pregnancy Outcomes


May 6, 2019



Leaders in Obstetric Care Spotlight Strategies to Address Maternal Mortality and Persistent Racial Disparities in Pregnancy Outcomes

 

Washington, DC, May 6, 2019 – The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, with more than one-half (52%) of pregnancy-related maternal deaths occurring after birth. In a May 6 Health Affairs blog, a team of nurses, physicians, and midwives offer concrete steps to reduce the number of maternal deaths by focusing on the postpartum period or fourth trimester.

In, "Extending Medicaid Coverage for Postpartum Moms", Jennifer Moore, PhD, RN, Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc; Pooja Mittal, DO; Lakshmi Reddy, MD; Lisa Kane Low, PhD, CNM, FACNM; FAAN; and Haywood Brown, MD, FACOG make a case to redesign postpartum care in the following ways:

  • Extend Medicaid coverage to at least 12 months postpartum
  • Increase access to doulas and community health workers
  • Co-locate health care services for the mother and baby, so that they can be seen on the same day, in the same building
  • Address long-standing provider biases, such as aggressive contraception counseling aimed at low-income women
  • Redesign reimbursement for postpartum care in both the private insurance market and via Medicaid

The fourth trimester, or the period of twelve weeks following childbirth, are critical for stabilizing the health and wellbeing of the mother post-delivery. However, both private and public insurance cover just 1-2 postpartum visits with an obstetric care provider. Further, in 19 states, Medicaid maternity coverage ends at 60 days postpartum.

“The system is not designed to provide women with the care and support they need,” said Dr. Moore. “With better access to breastfeeding support, information about nutrition, exercise, and how long to wait before getting pregnant again, we have an opportunity not only to reduce mortality but improve women’s health for their lifetime”

 

About the IMI

The Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that provides independent, nonpartisan information and analysis that informs Medicaid policy and improves the health of the nation.

 

Media contact:

Lydia Tonkonow

ltonkonow@medicaidinnovation.org