Healthcare's Priority on Maternal & Perinatal Health

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

The United States healthcare industry is long overdue in its need to be more focused on improving care during pregnancy and childbirth. According to Health Affairs, “reports finding that the U.S. has the worst maternal health outcomes in the developed world” (Devore, 2020), have led to greater attention from the government, politicians, and healthcare providers to improve the overall cost and quality of maternal health care. Not only has the maternal mortality rate doubled from 1991 to 2014, but “700 women die of complications related to pregnancy each year in the United States, and two-thirds of those deaths are preventable” (Delbanco et al, 2019). The same Harvard Business Review article adds that “American women have the greatest risk of dying from pregnancy complications among 11 high-income countries” (Delbanco et al, 2019).

Eliminating Disparities in Care is the Goal

New care models must be developed to overcome the huge disparities in care given across groups distinguished by their age, race, and payer status, and more attention has to be paid to complicating factors that are becoming more common, like advanced maternal age and comorbidities such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Not only are commercial insurers and state Medicaid programs testing maternal health bundles, but there will be efforts on the national level to enhance this area of care. Learning and workforce development programs will play an important part in improving pregnancy and childbirth outcomes.


Delbanco, S. et al, “The Rising U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Demands Action from Employers,” Harvard Business Review, June 29, 2019, Retrieved at
Devore, S., “Five Health Care Trends For 2020,” Health Affairs, January 13, 2020, Retrieved at


This blog post is an excerpt from the longer HealthStream article, Trends That Will Shape the Next Decade in Healthcare. Focused on the people providing healthcare, HealthStream is committed to helping customers address and solve big problems in our industry. From hospitals to long-term care and across the care continuum, there are challenges stemming from demographic changes, governmental mandates, and the need for higher care quality. Download the webinar, Ten Healthcare Trends for 2020, where Robin Rose, Vice President, Healthcare Resources Group, HealthStream discusses this information in detail. HealthStream is dedicated to improving patient outcomes through the development of healthcare organizations' greatest asset: their people. Learn more about our healthcare workforce development solutions.

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