CMS Proposes a “Birthing-Friendly” Hospital Designation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released additional details about the proposed “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation intended to drive improvements in maternal health outcomes and assist consumers in choosing hospitals. Initially, the publicly reported maternity care quality hospital (“Birthing-Friendly”) designation would be based on a hospital’s attestation to the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program’s Maternal Morbidity Structural Measure. Rural stakeholders interested in providing input to CMS on the “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation should review the full details of the proposal, along with instructions on how to respond, in the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule (also posted above). Eventually, CMS intends to expand the criteria for which this designation would be awarded in the future. In the IPPS proposed rule, CMS also included a request for information on additional activities to advance maternal health equity.