Nearly two out of every three adult women enrolled in Medicaid are in their reproductive years (ages 19-44), and Medicaid currently finances about 42% of all births in the United States. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can play a major role in improving the quality of maternity care, birth outcomes and in measuring how care is delivered to pregnant and postpartum women. CMS has been presented with a unique opportunity to improve perinatal outcomes and reuce disparities resulting from new authorities for quality improvement and measurement in the Affordable Care Act.
The annual reports on the Quality of Care for Children and Adults in Medicaid and CHIP are published by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. These reports present information on key activities CMS undertook to improve the quality of care for children and adults in Medicaid and CHIP, including review of Core Set findings and summaries of information on managed care quality, measurement and improvement efforts. To see the latest information on maternity health from these reports, please see the Perinatal Care in Medicaid and CHIP excerpt (PDF, 2.38 MB) from the 2015 secretary's report.
Maternal and Infant Health Initiative
The Expert Panel (PDF, 52.4 KB) on Improving Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Medicaid and CHIP was convened in June of 2012 to explore program policy and reimbursement opportunities that could result in better care, improve birth outcomes and reduce the costs of care for mothers and infants in Medicaid and CHIP. In August of 2013, the panel presented the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) senior leadership with a set of strategies to support states and providers in improving maternal and infant health outcomes. Building upon the panel discussions and leveraging current and planned CMCS improvement activities (see Crosswalk of Activities (PDF, 911.47 KB) ), CMCS announced on July 18, 2014, a new initiative to improve maternal and infant health outcomes in collaboration with our partners. The initiative is a strategy designed to:
- Improve the rate and content of postpartum visits
- Increase the use of effective methods of contraception among women in Medicaid and CHIP.
On October 7, 2014, CMCS held a webinar "Improving the Health of Mothers and Infants in Medicaid and CHIP: Investing in the Future of Our Nation." This webinar explores collaboration opportunities for improving birth outcomes among beneficiaries in Medicaid and CHIP. See the following webinar materials to hear from state Medicaid officials, community leaders, and clinicians about approaches to achieving the initiative goals through our collective efforts:
- . National Center for Health Statistics. Key Birth Statistics (2018 data, released 2019). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/births.htm