Maternal Health Policy Recommendations

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Washington University in St. Louis Center for Health Economics & Policy | October 2021

Maternal and infant health is a critical problem for Missouri and the rest of the United
States. While many other health metrics have improved in the US in recent decades,
outcomes for mothers and infants have worsened. Maternal mortality rates in Missouri
and nationally have been rising in recent years; Missouri’s rate (32.6 per 100,000 live
births) exceeds the national average (20.7 per 100,000). Furthermore, a striking disparity
exists, as Black women in Missouri are more than 3 times as likely as White women to die
from pregnancy-related causes.

Transforming Healthcare in Missouri, Part V — Policies & Partnerships to Advance Pregnancy Outcomes — convened managed care organization representatives, clinicians, program
leaders, advocates, and other stakeholders in Missouri pregnancy care. These attendees
heard from presenters and panelists who shared information on models of pregnancy
care that are known to be effective. Attendees discussed these models and other ideas of interest that may advance quality care for pregnant women in Missouri.

This paper seeks to succinctly summarize those ideas and, where applicable, to describe the programs in Missouri that are successfully implementing them in some form. One key goal is to articulate the areas of concern across stakeholders within the present system and to document levels of agreement and support for specific solutions to those challenges.