Pregnancy and childbirth are pivotal events in a woman’s life, framed by both the overall care experience and the actual birth event. In maternity care today, there are a variety of payment mechanisms. These different payment mechanisms are often associated with overuse of high-cost interventions and underuse of low-cost interventions, which leads to less-than-desirable outcomes for women and their babies, despite the fact that the maternity population is generally healthy. By providing incentives for the provision of higher-value practices, and for care coordination across the continuum of services and providers, episode payment can potentially have a significant impact on both the short and long-term health of a woman and her baby, and on the health of American society.

The maternity care recommendations outlined in this chapter emphasize the need for patient engagement, education, and parenting support services (in addition to clinical maternity care), to achieve a number of critical goals. These include increasing the percentage of full-term births and the percentage of vaginal births, while decreasing the percentage of pre-term and early elective births, complications, and mortality. They are designed to speak to a multi-stakeholder audience with the goal of supporting broad clinical episode payment adoption.

Authors: Clinical Episode Payment (ECP) Work Group of the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (LAN)

Publication Date: August 1, 2016

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