Although efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity are growing, we’re making slow progress toward reversing what has been a trend line going the wrong direction. Two recent reports help explain where we are and where we’re headed.
Several weeks ago, the state issued the annual report on maternal mortality and morbidity. According to the Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review report, mental health conditions are the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths, surpassing 2017’s leading cause of death — cardiomyopathy. Substance use disorder contributed to 54% of pregnancy-related and 43% of pregnancy-associated but not related deaths. Among pregnancy-related deaths, 82% were determined to be preventable through a wide variety of stakeholder actions.
Thursday, MHA released a report on the activities of health care and community stakeholders to mitigate the problem of maternal mortality and morbidity. Our report recognizes that stakeholder efforts must reach beyond pregnancy or the care environment — taking a broader view that encompasses health maintenance and quality care improvement — to support mothers’ health, before, during and after pregnancy.
Health equity is a significant challenge. Delivery of equitable care could help improve Missouri’s status. The rate of death among Medicaid beneficiaries was four times greater than the rate among mothers with private insurance. Black women are dying at a rate four times greater than white women in Missouri. Understanding how health equity interplays with mortality and morbidity is essential to reducing harm.
In the clinical environment, progress toward evidence-based care is essential to improving pregnancy outcomes and supporting women’s health status throughout.
The two reports complement one another. The PAMR report identifies and quantifies the problem. MHA’s report identifies the systems that are being put in place to mitigate harm.
This challenge can’t be viewed simply as a failure of the health care system to address maternal health. Solutions are both clinical and community-based, requiring collaboration, alignment and synergy to address the shared goal of decreasing the number of mothers and infants dying in Missouri.
As with many of the state’s health challenges, success will require action to address the many social, demographic and behavioral influences that contribute to maternal and child harm. Certainly, health care providers have an important role. However, better outcomes require better women’s health overall.
MHA’s report indicates that we are making important progress toward reducing harm and improving health. Results are a lagging indicator, but I am confident that our collective efforts in health care and with other stakeholders will begin to turn the tide through pre- and post-pregnancy wellness.
Send me an email to let me know what you are thinking.
Herb B. Kuhn
MHA President and CEO
In This Issue
White House Administration Launches “Summer Sprint To Coverage” Campaign
CMS Releases Proposed CY 2022 Medicare PFS Payment And Policy Updates
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
Missouri Chamber Of Commerce Announces Program Encouraging Employee Vaccines
Save The Date For The 2021 Missouri Suicide Prevention Conference
Fatal Overdoses Increase With Increased Prevalence Of Fentanyl
CMS Reminds Hospitals Of Upcoming Q1 2021 Reporting Deadlines
CMS Announces Preview Period For October 2021 Hospital Compare Data
CMS Updates eCQM Data Element Repository
SSHRC Conducts Rural Healthy People 2030 Survey
MHA Offers Missouri Hospital Jobs Platform
The Biden-Harris administration is launching a new campaign to get more Americans to sign up for marketplace health coverage. Previously, the Marketplace Special Enrollment Period was extended through Sunday, Aug. 15. The “Summer Sprint to Coverage” campaign reminds individuals without health insurance they can receive coverage through the SEP. During the SEP, more than 2 million consumers have signed up for coverage on Healthcare.gov.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services previouslyreleased the Medicare calendar year 2022 proposed payment and policy updates for the physician fee schedule. MHA published an issue brief with additional information.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews. eNews includes information about national provider calls, meetings, events, announcements and other MLN educational product updates. The latest issue provides updates and summaries of the following.
CMS opens national coverage determination analysis on treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced a COVID Stops Here campaign that will recognize Missouri workplaces that have achieved widespread vaccination. The intent of the campaign is to celebrate employers that are leading the fight against the virus and encourage more Missouri workplaces to join their ranks. A recording of the Chamber’s webinar from Thursday is available.
Employers play an important role in helping stop the spread of COVID-19 — including the dangerous new Delta variant. The Chamber strongly encourages employers across Missouri to talk to their staff about the need to get vaccinated and keep track as more staff members get the shot. As workplace vaccination rates reach at least 70%, the Chamber will help celebrate their achievement.
The Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Behavioral Health Council and Community Counseling Center is hosting the 2021 Missouri Suicide Prevention Conference on Wednesday, July 28. This virtual conference is complimentary for general registration without continuing education, and $10 with CMEs. The Missouri Behavioral Health Council approved this program for as much as 6.3 behavioral health continuing education contact hours. Online registration is available.
According to recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal overdoses increased by nearly 30% from 2019 to 2020. Officials state that the increase was driven by the lethal prevalence of fentanyl, as well as pandemic-related stressors and challenges with accessing treatment. The Missouri Institute of Mental Health released data specific to St. Louis City and County that proves these statements to be true. Fentanyl-involved deaths are increasing in the St. Louis region, especially among stimulant-involved deaths with methamphetamine and/or cocaine. In St. Louis County, fentanyl was present in 80% of cocaine-involved deaths and 78% of methamphetamine-involved deaths.
Hospitals participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Inpatient Quality Reporting, Outpatient Quality Reporting and Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction programs are reminded of the hospital quality reporting deadlines for first quarter 2021 dates of service.
October 2021 Hospital Compare preview data now are available on QualityNet. The preview period ends Friday, Aug. 13, and is applicable for hospitals and facilities participating in the following programs.
Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting
Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting
Prospective Payment System Exempt Cancer Hospitals Quality Reporting
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated the Electronic Clinical Quality Measure Data Element Repository to provide information for eCQMs used in CMS quality reporting and incentive programs for the calendar year 2022 reporting and performance periods. The eCQM DERep provides information on the data elements associated with eCQMs and their definitions.
The Southwest Rural Health Research Center at Texas A&M University, with funding support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, is conducting a survey as part of Rural Healthy People 2030 — a project designed to understand the most important health priorities for rural Americans. This once-in-a-decade survey allows individuals who care about rural health to voice their opinions on important topics for the health of rural individuals in the U.S.
SRHRC asks rural health stakeholders — individuals who live in rural communities or work with rural communities with a specific interest in the health of rural Americans — to participate in the survey and share it with any other rural health stakeholders. For questions about this study, contact Timothy Callaghan from the SRHRC at email@example.com.
The Missouri Hospital Jobs platform is an online resource, created by MHA, for recruiting qualified health care professionals. It provides employers and job-seeking professionals in the health care industry a better way to find one another. This service also allows MHA-member hospitals and job-seekers to connect through the National Healthcare Career Network.