July 17, 2019

Innovative Payment Strategies to Address Maternal Health Crisis

A simmering US health crisis has bubbled to the surface. As the global maternal mortality rate fell 44 percent between 1990 and 2015, maternal mortality and pregnancy-related deaths in the US have gone in the opposite direction, increasing 139 percent since 1987.

The Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF or Task Force), a group of leading health care payers, providers, purchasers and patient organizations, today released a report which highlights the importance of expanding value-based payments to increase outcomes-driven maternity care. As the rate of maternal mortality in the United States continues to rise despite reductions globally, the Task Force has identified value-based payment as a critical mechanism to drive improved maternal health outcomes and reduced disparities.

The New ReportExpanding Access to Outcomes-Driven Maternity Care through Value-Based Payment, examines the evidence from existing efforts to transition away from fee-for-service care, categorized into three outcomes-driven maternity payment levels with increasing provider accountability for cost and quality:

  • Perinatal fee schedule changes
  • Value-based maternity payments which link reimbursement to maternal outcomes and total cost
  • Comprehensive payments for mother and newborn which link reimbursement for both maternal and infant quality outcomes and total cost.

Task Force members also issued a call to action for the CMS Innovation Center to drive additional adoption by testing a comprehensive, multi-payer maternity care model.

“Improving health outcomes for women and their newborns will be strengthened by greater alignment in value-based incentives for maternity care across payers,” said Sree Chaguturu, MD, Chief Population Health Officer at Partners HealthCare. “Appropriate financial and quality incentives allow us to better focus on the unique health needs of different populations.”

Dr. Chaguturu, along with Audra Meadows, MD, MPH and Becky Cunningham, MD, both physicians at Brigham and Women’s, contributed to the report.

Read the Full Press Release Here.

What to read next: Health Affairs, “To Help Fix The Maternal Health Crisis, Look To Value-Based Payment

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