New Reports and Resources

From the TMC blog: Helping Pregnant Women Become Partners in Their Care

From the desk of: Maureen Corry

The quality of maternity care in our country needs improvement. While transforming the maternity care system will take time, there is progress to report.

In February, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) released a groundbreaking consensus statement on the overuse of cesarean. The statement confirms that the procedure is too often used in ways that do not improve maternal and child health outcomes.

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Filed in Blog, New Reports and Resources on Mon., Apr 14, 2014

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From the TMC blog: Listening to Mothers III survey shows moms deserve better in pregnancy and birth

We recently published the results of Listening to Mothers III, the third national U.S. survey of women’s pregnancy and birth experiences. As with previous Listening to Mothers surveys, the latest data show that risky procedures are overused, many beneficial practices are underused, and all too often women lack the support and knowledge required to effectively navigate their maternity care.

We’ve made it easier than ever for you share the survey findings to help improve policy, practice, research, and advocacy.

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Filed in Blog, New Reports and Resources on Tue., May 28, 2013

From the TMC blog: The Leapfrog Hospital Survey now reports episiotomy rates

The Leapfrog Group, a patient safety organization comprised of employers and other purchasers of employee health coverage, has reported measures of maternity care safety for several years, most notably with their survey of hospital rates of early elective deliveries. This year’s Leapfrog Hospital Survey highlights hospital rates of episiotomy. The public can compare episiotomy rates within a city, state, or region. An episiotomy is a surgical cut to enlarge the vagina for vaginal birth. Evidence suggests that routine or frequent use of episiotomy does not benefit babies but increases mothers’ pain, reduces pelvic floor strength, and may predispose women to extensive tears that involve anal sphincter muscles. Despite the evidence, episiotomy rates remain high in some settings.

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Filed in Blog, Hospitals and Health Systems, New Reports and Resources on Mon., Apr 1, 2013

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From the TMC blog: “Choosing Wisely” in maternity care: ACOG and AAFP urge women to question elective deliveries

Last April, the ABIM Foundation, with Consumer Reports and other partners, drew national attention to overuse of ineffective and harmful practices across the health care system with their Choosing Wisely campaign. As part of the campaign, professional medical societies identified practices within their own specialties that patients should avoid or question carefully. Today, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) have joined the campaign, drawing national attention to the overuse and misuse of induction of labor. ACOG and AAFP are telling women and their maternity care providers:

- Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor or cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks 0 days gestational age.
- Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor between 39 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 0 days unless the cervix is deemed favorable.

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Filed in Blog, New Reports and Resources on Thu., Feb 21, 2013

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From the TMC blog: 5 reasons birth centers have met their moment

Childbirth Connection has been advocating for greater access to birth centers for much of our 95 year history. We opened the first urban birth center in 1975 and helped found the organization that would later become the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). Our director from 1970 to 1995, Ruth Lubic, went on to win a MacArthur “Genius” Award for her pioneering work in birth center innovation. Although the number of birth centers has increased in the intervening decades, birth centers remain a very small segment of the health care system. Just 0.3% of U.S. births take place in birth centers.

But a new study out today and a congressional briefing next week are sure to heighten attention to this high-quality, high-value care option. Added to other trends and recent developments, we anticipate this new study will trigger rapid growth in birth centers, and more focused and innovative efforts to integrate birth centers into the health care system. Here are 5 reasons birth centers have met their moment.

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Filed in Blog, Clinicians, Consumers, Costs - Charges - Value, Hospitals and Health Systems, New Reports and Resources on Thu., Jan 31, 2013

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From the TMC blog: Fixing persistent liability concerns in maternity care: We can do it!

One of most commonly cited barriers to improving maternity care is the risk of providers and hospitals being held liable for bad outcomes. Whether it is reining in overuse of tests and procedures, honoring women’s preferences, or increasing interdisciplinary collaboration, good ideas often cannot move forward once the issue of liability is raised.

If we cannot make progress toward more evidence-based, woman-centered care because of liability concerns, then the liability system is functioning poorly. But what are the aims of a high-functioning liability system? Is it just to avoid lawsuits and hold liability insurance premiums down?

In our new report, Maternity Care and Liability, we hold 25 possible liability reforms up to a framework that addresses the needs and interests of all of the system stakeholders: those who deliver care, those who pay for care, and most importantly, the women and newborns who receive care. We developed this framework based on maternity care and liability studies and with the input of clinicians, legal scholars, consumer advocates, policy makers, and others.

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Filed in Blog, Clinicians, Consumers, Costs - Charges - Value, Hospitals and Health Systems, New Reports and Resources on Wed., Jan 9, 2013

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From the TMC blog: Overuse of c-sections: bad for women, babies, and the bottom line

Last month, Childbirth Connection issued Cesarean or Vaginal Birth: What Is At Stake for Mothers and Babies, a best evidence review cataloging dozens of adverse outcomes made more common by cesarean surgery. Maternal infections, prolonged pain, life-threatening complications, and childhood chronic illnesses – evidence demonstrates cesarean increases the likelihood of each of these. These risks are appropriate tradeoffs in some circumstances when cesarean offers a clear benefit. But a growing chorus of obstetric leaders and maternity care reformers are warning that the c-section rate is too high. For the benefit of public health – for the 4 million women who give birth every year and their 4 million babies – we must work to safely rein in the overuse of c-sections.

Today, we learn the extent to which c-section overuse is driving up health care costs, too. Together with Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, we have issued The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States, prepared by Truven Health Analytics.

What is at stake for payers? Not only do unwarranted c-sections create greater health risks for women and babies, this study shows that they also dramatically increase costs for employers and, through Medicaid programs, state and federal budgets.

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Filed in Blog, Costs - Charges - Value, New Reports and Resources on Mon., Jan 7, 2013

From the TMC blog: In the pipeline: Get ready for a flurry of landmark reports and resources to transform maternity care

Childbirth Connection’s 95-year history includes many landmark reports and resources that have shaped maternity care and galvanized needed progress. It may seem like things have been quiet on that front for a while, but that’s about to change, just in time for our 95th birthday.

Get ready for a flurry of resources to help transform maternity care. We’ve been hard at work to produce these new reports and will soon make them freely available for all stakeholders to use to help push for high-quality, high-value maternity care.

Here’s what’s in the pipeline and the estimated date of delivery (EDD) for each:

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Filed in Blog, New Reports and Resources on Wed., Dec 5, 2012

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From the TMC blog: CDC Releases Final Birth Data for 2010

Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a final report from vital statistics (birth certificate) data. Unlike the preliminary reports, the final data provides data in great detail and is accompanied by reports breaking down birth data by state, racial and ethnic group, gestational age, mode of birth, and other factors.

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Filed in Blog, New Reports and Resources on Tue., Aug 28, 2012

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From the TMC blog: Multi-state collaborative works to improve pre- and inter-conception health

A recent Issue Brief from the Commonwealth Fund highlights a multi-state collaboration to improve pre- and inter-conception health for women insured by Medicaid.

A recent Issue Brief from the Commonwealth Fund highlights a multi-state collaboration to improve pre- and inter-conception health for women insured by Medicaid. The Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative, a cross-departmental, public–private effort to improve the outcomes of Louisiana’s births, was one of the participating state programs. This state-wide initiative used the same multi-stakeholder process employed by Childbirth Connection to develop the Blueprint for Action.

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Filed in Blog, New Reports and Resources, Quality Collaboratives on Tue., Aug 28, 2012

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