This Action Brief, updated in 2018, reviews how maternity care payment may be linked to the fact that maternity care in the U.S. have moved away from the evidence through excessive and unnecessary interventions, like medically unnecessary cesarean deliveries or early elective deliveries. Employers and other large purchasers who are shocked by the poorer health outcomes for both mothers and their babies in the United States can use this tool to understand the situation and how to take action. This tool is designed to help employers and other health care purchasers identify and take action-oriented steps to implement maternity care payment models and other strategies that combat this trend, encourage providers to adhere to evidence-based practices, improve patient outcomes, and reduce unnecessary costs.
Topic covered include:
- How purchasers can achieve higher-value maternity care through:
- Encouraging health plans or third-party administrators (TPA) to implement maternity care episode-based payments.
- Implementing benefit design to steer pregnant mothers to high-value providers, like centers of excellence.
- Educating employees and covered populations on the importance of full-term births, the health consequences of elective inductions and unnecessary cesarean deliveries, and the high-value care included in benefits offerings.
- Pushing health plans or third-party administrators to contract with and provide full coverage for certified nurse midwives and doulas.
- And the tools available to help employer-purchasers in the quest for higher-value maternity care.