Study Finds Only One-Third of States Have Publicly Available Guidelines for Levels of Maternal Care

A recent study led by HRSA staff found differences in the number of states with publicly available guidelines for levels of maternal care, and the number of states incorporating maternal care criteria.

In 2015, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists developed a classification system for levels of maternal care. They introduced standardized criteria and uniform definitions to enable monitoring of risk-appropriate care and evaluate its impact on health outcomes. However, the current study found that only one-third of states have publically available guidelines that incorporate these criteria for levels of maternal care.

A system of risk-appropriate maternal care may have the largest potential impact on preventing pregnancy-related deaths in the United States. This study highlights the need for further dissemination and implementation of perinatal guidelines to ensure women receive care in facilities that align with their risk.

Read about HRSA’s work to address maternal care. Read the Journal of Women’s Health abstract.