NQF Endorses Perinatal and Reproductive Health Measures 

JAN 12, 2017

CONTACT: Sofia Kosmetatos

NQF Endorses Perinatal and Reproductive Health Measures

Washington, DC – The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 18 new and existing measures of perinatal and reproductive health, including three new measures to assess the quality of contraceptive care. The contraceptive measures are the first such measures NQF has endorsed, adding to a portfolio of measures that helps ensure that the 61 million women of reproductive age in the United States have access to high-quality care that can reduce the risk of pregnancy-related complications, including maternal and infant mortality.

“Access to the full range of contraceptive methods and quality, patient-centered counseling is essential preventive healthcare for women and vitally important to advancing economic security for women and families,” said Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH, director of Childbirth Connection programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families, and co-chair of NQF’s Perinatal and Reproductive Health Standing Committee. “We commend NQF for addressing the gaps in quality measures for contraceptive access and counseling and providing this much-needed guidance for improving postpartum care by helping women plan and space healthy pregnancies.”

NQF’s first endorsement of contraceptive measures (NQF #2903, 2904, and 2902) is intended to help reduce unintended pregnancies by ensuring that women between the ages of 15 and 44 are provided with effective birth control, including access to long-acting reversible contraception such as intrauterine devices. One of the measures assesses whether clinicians provide contraception within 3 and 60 days of childbirth, reflecting important recommendations to improve maternal health from the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Many of the measures in NQF’s perinatal and reproductive health portfolio are in use in at least one federal program. Additionally, NQF’s Measure Applications Partnership (MAP) has included several of the reproductive health, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and premature and low birthweight measures in the Medicaid Adult and Child Core Sets.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NQF Perinatal and Reproductive Health Standing Committee—comprised of clinicians and other experts from across the healthcare spectrum, including patients and community coalitions, public agencies, and health plans—reviewed a total of 24 measures in its latest project.

In its report, the Committee noted the need for perinatal measures, including measures that track whether women are considering pregnancy, management of gestational diabetes, and women’s perspectives of their prenatal care. The Committee stressed the need for measures that assess care for women with uncomplicated pregnancies.

“In perinatal and reproductive care, we have too few measures to help drive critically needed improvements in care,” said Kimberly Gregory, MD, MPH, vice chair of women’s healthcare quality and performance improvement at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and co-chair of NQF’s Perinatal and Reproductive Health Standing Committee. “To improve healthcare outcomes for this vital population, women and babies must have access to the highest possible quality of care during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the post-partum period.”


The National Quality Forum leads national collaboration to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.