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Premier Data Analysis: Maternal & Infant Health Trends, 2008-2019

Maternal mortality in the hospital, at the time of delivery, continues to drop, according to the latest data-driven maternal and infant health trends analysis from Premier Inc.

Overall, Premier found that U.S. hospitals showed a 17 percent decrease in delivery-related maternal deaths between 2008-2019, suggesting progress is being made in the hospital, at the time of delivery.

Other key insights:
  • The disparity gap between black and white women for delivery-related deaths has substantially narrowed. Premier identified a 55 percent decrease in delivery-related maternal mortality for Black women from 2008-2019.
  • Severe maternal morbidity (SMM) has increased significantly, up 43 percent from 2008-2019. Premier’s data did show a substantial drop in SMM from 2018 to 2019.
  • SMM disproportionately affects Black women, who have an 84 percent higher SMM rate than white women.
  • The maternal population continues to age, with the percent of women over 35 giving birth up 28 percent. Both the SMM rate and cesarean rate – which is associated with a higher likelihood of complications – are higher for women over 35.
  • The level of substance misuse is rising precipitously, as the rate of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) increased 89 percent between 2008 and 2019. The NAS trends align closely with the increased rate of birth mothers with documented substance misuse, which has increased by 201 percent since 2008 overall.

Download the full report and check out our key trends affecting Black women during delivery.

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A better understanding of the current state of maternal-infant harm and death is the first step to improve the quality of care.

Premier's findings underscore the need for a standardized method for the U.S. to collect maternal-infant data, measure outcomes, adjust care and scale proven practices across hospitals nationwide.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health (OWH), in partnership with Premier, is leading an initiative to do just that.

  • OWH is leveraging Premier's data to scientifically examine the root causes of maternal-infant mortality and morbidity, including significant and persistent racial and ethnic disparities, and translate these findings into evidence-based care delivery.
  • The effort unites a cohort of at least 200 hospitals - particularly those that serve vulnerable populations - to implement and scale standardized, evidence-based practices.
  • OWH and Premier are enabling hospitals with the data, evidence and expertise to truly identify and reduce factors that are proven to contribute to adverse outcomes.

To further hospitals’ quality improvement efforts and data in this space, last year, Premier made its Perinatal Quality Dashboard available to all users its QualityAdvisor® performance improvement technology – giving more than 1,300 hospitals the capability to drill into patient-level detail on over 100 measures, including payer mix and risk factors for COVID-19 maternal patients.

Learn more about OWH’s work with Premier and Premier’s efforts to improve maternal and infant health.

Methodology: Premier’s national trend analysis explores maternal and infant health outcomes at the time of delivery. It leverages the Premier Healthcare Database and includes standardized inpatient data from 10.1 million births that occurred in 903 hospitals across 45 states from 2008-2019. It builds on Premier’s first maternal and infant health trends analysis that examined 2008-2018 data.

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