This week, the nation pauses to recognize, reflect upon, and respond to a crisis centuries in the making: The fact that the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, driven by the sad and unacceptable mortality rates among Black mothers, who are 2.5 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.
Black Maternal Health Week, held annually in the middle of National Minority Health Month, presents a notable opportunity to not only take stock of where California sits in the efforts to reduce maternal health disparities, but also to listen and learn from the people who are suffering, including the most vulnerable: Black infants in the United States die at more than twice the rate of white infants.
California is a national leader in the fight to reduce maternal deaths — the rate has been cut by 68% in the past decade and is well below the national average — but the numbers of Black moms dying are still far too high.
That’s why it’s vital that we continue to build on the work hospitals are already doing to address this problem, including:
The Hospital Quality Institute’s Perinatal Mental Health Learning Community
is helping 145 enrolled hospitals strengthen their approaches to maternal mental health in the perinatal period through education, technical assistance, and peer support.
More than 90% of California’s hospitals participate in the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, which employs data, rapid response analysis, and comprehensive toolkits to improve health outcomes for mothers and infants.
Many hospitals are engaging in anti-bias training to mitigate the effects of implicit bias on moms and babies.
Cherished Futures for Black Moms and Babies, a collaboration among hospitals, community-based organizations, public health agencies, and health care workers supported by the Hospital Association of Southern California’s Communities Lifting Communities initiative is working to reduce Black infant mortality and improve Black maternal patient experiences in South Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley.
More can and must be done.
If there’s any silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis and recent heightened awareness of systemic racism, it’s that the conversations about longstanding health disparities are now front and center, and the forum to have uncomfortable discussions is here.
As is the case with any issue that has layer upon layer of complexity and paths toward solution, honest and earnest dialogue will be the first step toward action that can effect meaningful, sustainable, and compassionate change.
The Joint Commission (TJC) has issued new standards for hospitals (including psychiatric hospitals) and critical access hospitals related to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Interoperability and Patient Access final rule. Specifically, the prepublication standards apply for the new Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation requiring admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) notifications effective May 1. The changes will be published by TJC with the July 1, 2021, standards release.
On April 27 and 28, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health will host a two-day virtual forum highlighting its renewed focus on health equity, addressing structural racism in health care, and establishing federal agencies’ roles as equity partners.
CHA has issued a detailed members-only summary, prepared by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc., of the proposed rule updating payments to hospice facilities for federal fiscal year 2022 recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Comments are due to CMS by 2 p.m. (PT) on June 7.
Emergency department (ED) staff are seeing an increase in youth experiencing a behavioral health crisis, including suicide, and in the moment it can be difficult to know what resources are available and where to direct families. To provide hospital staff with resources that can support patients and family members, and ease the already stressful ED environment, CHA will host a webinar on April 28 from 11 a.m. to noon (PT).
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it will begin accepting applications for Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program on April 29. The application portal will be open for seven calendar days, closing on May 6.
CHA has issued a detailed, members-only summary, prepared by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc., of the federal fiscal year 2022 inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) prospective payment system proposed rule recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Comments are due to CMS by 2 p.m. (PT) on June 7.
CHA has issued a detailed, members-only summary, prepared by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc., of the federal fiscal year 2022 inpatient psychiatric facility (IPF) prospective payment system proposed rule recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Comments are due to CMS by 2 p.m. (PT) on June 7.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued the following updates this week: CMS Releases FY 2022 Hospital VBP Mortality and Complication Measure HSRs April 27: CMS QRDA Category I Implementation Guide Changes for CY 2021 Hospital Quality Reporting Webinar April 29: MCReF Provider Training Session Outpatient Quality Reporting Program: Claims-Detail Reports for OP-32, OP-35, […]
On April 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its quarantine and work restriction recommendations following travel, no longer recommending quarantine or work restrictions after travel for those who are asymptomatic.