News: HHS added maternal health outcomes section to CMS Care Compare website

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 55

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added a maternal health outcomes section to the CMS Care Compare website as part of its efforts to increase equitable access for quality maternal health services, according to a recent announcement.

The additional section will help patients find hospitals that provide pregnancy and postpartum care, participate in maternity care quality improvements, and have implemented suggested patient safety practices, HHS says.

HHS encourages states to provide postpartum coverage for 12 months for people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If every state adopted this coverage, postpartum care would nearly double and cover 720,000 individuals in a year.

Currently, 42% of births are covered by Medicaid and CHIP. Fifty percent of those covered are Black, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native. Expanding CHIP and Medicaid postpartum coverage could help improve maternal health outcomes and lessen health disparities. Almost 33% of maternal deaths occur between one week and one year after childbirth. The HHS report found maternal death rates to be highest among Black women and American Indian/Alaska Natives.

Expanded coverage can also help people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, and offer behavioral health services. Without expanding state Medicaid coverage, Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for coverage until the end of the month that their 60-day postpartum period ends.

Editor’s note: The CMS Care Compare website can be found here. The HHS announcement about the maternal health outcomes initiative can be found here.

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