On April 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new actions it is taking as part of the Biden administration’s call to action to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Notably, the announcement provided more information regarding a proposed “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation, previously announced in December 2021 as part of the administration’s work on improving maternal health. The designation is intended to inform patients and consumers when choosing a hospital and will be based on a new quality measure adopted in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. The Maternal Morbidity Structural Measure requires hospitals to begin reporting on their participation in perinatal quality improvement collaboratives and the implementation of said collaboratives’ patient safety practices. Hospitals will begin to report on the measure in May 2022, and the CMS intends to initially post the designation for hospitals on the Care Compare website in fall 2023.
“Improving maternal health outcomes—particularly among underserved communities—is a top priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. To advance health equity, we must integrate it into our programs, and that’s why we are seeking to measure hospital maternity care quality,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
Full details of the proposed “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation are included in the fiscal year 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule.