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Industry Voices—4 ways healthcare organizations can prepare for new maternal care designations

January 18, 2019 / Charles Jaynes

Four years ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine released a joint consensus statement on maternal level-of-care designations (MLOCD). The goal of the designations was to standardize levels of maternal care as a means of improving maternal and infant outcomes. The consensus statement defined five designations, ranging from Birth Center, which generally means a midwife overseeing birth, with transport available to Level IV, which involves comprehensive care at a regional perinatal healthcare center. Since then, several states, including Indiana, Arizona and Maryland, have adopted maternal care designations, and last year Georgia passed legislation designating perinatal levels of care. While there are significant differences in designation by state, they all rely on a tiered framework ranging from basic to comprehensive care.