For the 61 million women of reproductive age in the U.S.,
access to high-quality care before and between pregnancies—including pregnancy
planning, contraception and preconception care—can reduce the risk of
pregnancy-related complications, including maternal and infant mortality.1
Disparities in access to quality reproductive and perinatal care and disparities
in outcomes among different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., as well as
sociodemographic disparities, are major topics of interest for quality
Deaths during pregnancy and childbirth have doubled for all U.S. women in the
past 20 years. Figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) show that black women are nearly four times more likely to die
from pregnancy-related causes than white women.3 Moreover,
numerous studies have documented persistent racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic
disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality, preterm births, low
birthweight infants, access to contraception and reproductive healthcare, and
other adverse outcomes.
Research suggests that morbidity and mortality associated
with pregnancy and childbirth are largely preventable through adherence to
existing evidence-based guidelines. Lower quality care during pregnancy, labor
and delivery, and the postpartum period can translate into unnecessary
complications, prolonged lengths of stay, costly neonatal intensive care unit
(NICU) admissions, and anxiety and suffering for patients and families.
However, without appropriate information about performance at a national level,
perinatal quality improvement efforts will be unfocused and incentives for
NQF Related Work
and Reproductive Health 2015-2016 – 2016
For more information, please contact email@example.com.
K, Posner SF, Biemann J, et al. Recommendations to improve preconception health
and health care – United States. A report of the CDC/ATSDR Preconception Care
Work Group and the Select Panel on Preconception Care. MMWR Recomm Rep.
Dehlendorf C, Rodriguez MI, Levy K, et al. Disparities in family planning. American
J Obstet Gynecol. 2010;202(3):214-220. Available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835625/. Last
accessed October 2015.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pregnancy mortality
surveillance system website. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pmss.html.
Last accessed October 2015.