Jump to content

USA: Massachusetts will designate hospital “Levels of Maternal Care” to improve health outcomes for higher-risk patients

To help patients with high-risk pregnancies receive care at hospitals that are staffed and equipped to deliver care appropriate to their needs, the Department of Public Health will require licensed birthing hospitals to use a system called Levels of Maternal Care. The system classifies hospitals based on their capacity to meet the needs of patients with a range of potential complications during childbirth.

The impetus is the rising levels of severe maternal morbidity, large racial disparities in outcomes, and concerns that higher-risk patients who deliver in hospitals that over-estimate the level of care they are able to provide are more likely to experience complications.

Levels of care describe a hospital’s physical facilities, capabilities and staffing, indicating its ability to serve people giving birth across a range of medical needs. For example, Level 1 is appropriate for low-risk patients with uncomplicated pregnancies, including twins and labor after cesarean delivery. To that group, Level II adds patients with poorly controlled asthma or hypertension and other higher-risk conditions. Subsequent levels include patients at increasingly high risk of complications, up to Level IV, which is appropriate for patients with severe cardiac disease, those who need organ transplant and others.

Established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in 2015, the classification system is one tool used by states across the country to improve maternal health and birthing outcomes.

Read full story

Source: Betsy Lehman Center. 17 January 2024


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...