Hospitals would attain the “Birthing Friendly” designation by attesting to maternal health best practices in quality reporting.
From a healthcare policy standpoint, a headline of the FY23 proposed rule for hospital inpatient payments is a concerted effort by CMS to improve maternal health outcomes.
The rule would set the stage for hospitals to earn a “Birthing Friendly” designation, which would “assist consumers in choosing hospitals that have demonstrated a commitment to maternal health through implementation of best practices that advance healthcare quality, safety and equity for pregnant and postpartum patients,” according to a news release.
The designation would debut in late 2023 and would be earned by attesting “Yes” to both questions in the Maternal Morbidity Structural Measure, which previously was finalized for adoption in the Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program. Those questions gauge whether a hospital 1) is participating in a state or national perinatal quality improvement initiative and 2) is implementing patient safety practices or bundles as part of such an initiative.
In May, hospitals are due to report Q4 2021 data on maternity care, with initial data posted later in the year.
Maternal health also is being promoted through the proposed addition of two electronic clinical quality measures to the IQR Program: Cesarean Birth and Severe Obstetric Complications. Both would be reported on a voluntary basis in 2023 and then become mandatory in 2024.