Earlier this year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced Strong Start, a major federal initiative to improve birth outcomes among Medicaid enrollees. (Letters of Intent are now due May 11, 2012.) The initiative includes a funding opportunity for three innovative models of prenatal care delivery that show promise for reducing preterm births. Two of the three models have national organizations that define and promote them: group prenatal care models like CenteringPregnancy and prenatal care in birth centers, a model promoted by the American Association of Birth Centers. The third model has left some people scratching their heads: Maternity Care Homes. What is a Maternity Care Home and, more importantly, what changes do practices have to make to become one?
The purpose of this article is to foster awareness and discussion about Maternity Care Homes and to encourage Strong Start applicants to advance this model. The article will answer common questions about Maternity Care Homes, with an emphasis on implementation. If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments.