Community-Based Models to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes and Promote Health Equity

Community-Based Models to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes and Promote Health Equity

Equity-centered approaches to maternity care could help reduce rising rates of maternal mortality in the U.S. among women of color, an issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund finds. According to the brief, Community-Based Models to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes and Promote Health Equity, spending on maternity care does not necessarily translate into better maternal health outcomes, with Black, Indigenous, and other women of color at particularly high risk for negative outcomes. Based on a review of research literature, the brief also found that a range of community-based approaches could improve maternal health outcomes and patients' experiences while potentially reducing costs; they include integrating non-traditional providers such as doulas and midwives into the system; providing non-hospital-based care in freestanding birthing centers; and adopting innovative models such as group prenatal care and pregnancy medical homes. Recommendations in the brief include expanding reimbursement for doulas and midwives, enhancing patient access to a broader range of services, and incentivizing health systems and providers to adopt evidence-based equity-centered models of care.