The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health announced an $8 million nationwide contract with Premier, Inc. to improve maternal health data and create a network of at least 200 hospitals to deploy clinical, evidence-based best practices in maternity care. This announcement builds upon HHS’s Improving Maternal Health in America Initiative as outlined in the President’s FY 2021 Budget. This vital data will inform policy and validate evidence-based practice to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.
OWH’s efforts are part of the HHS overarching plan to focus on maternal health with more announcements to come in the upcoming weeks. The Department recognizes the importance of data to identify opportunities to better target resources and use the information gathered to improve care delivery. Additionally, pregnancy-related mortality for Black women and American Indian and Alaska Native women are two to three times higher than for White, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific Islander women. Geographical disparities also exist as pregnant women living in rural America face barriers to maternity care. By analyzing maternal health data and identifying effective actions, OWH aims to improve maternal and infant health outcomes and reduce these disparities.
“HHS is committed to making the United States one of the safest countries in the world for women to give birth,” said Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett Giroir, M.D. “Through this commitment, we will leverage near real time maternal and infant health data to inform policy and programs.”
This effort will allow OWH to assess the impact of evidence-based interventions on maternal and infant health outcomes as well as create a network of at least 200 hospitals to implement evidence-based actions. As part of the contract, Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advocates’ (MoMMA’s) Voices, a coalition comprised of many organizations, will ensure patients’ voices are heard. Additionally, the work builds upon current HHS programs and efforts including the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM), supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
“This up-to-date data and network of hospitals will ensure a strategic national response to improving maternal and infant health,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health and Director of the Office on Women’s Health, Dorothy Fink, M.D.