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CMS Proposed Rule to Include ‘Birthing-Friendly’ Hospital Designation

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A new “birthing-friendly” hospital designation is a key feature of a proposed rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), writes Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. According to CMS, the designation would “assist consumers in choosing hospitals that have demonstrated a commitment to maternal health through implementation of best practices that advance health care quality, safety, and equity for pregnant and postpartum patients.”

CMS issued the annual Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) proposed rule on April 18. In addition to payment updates, the proposed rule addresses maternal health and proposes to establish a publicly reported hospital designation based on the quality and safety of maternity care.

Under this proposal, CMS would initially designate hospitals based on their attestations that they have satisfied the requirements of the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program’s Maternal Morbidity Structural Measure, which was finalized in the fiscal year 2022 IPPS and LTCH PPS final rule. The measure is used to determine whether a hospital participates in a state or national perinatal quality improvement (QI) collaborative and implements certain patient safety practices through the collaborative.

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