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News & Press: Weekly News Brief

AABC News Brief - NOV 15 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019  

3 things you need to know

1. Birth Centers Featured in Covered California Report

2. AABC Endorses Revised Levels of Maternal Care

3. Two AABC Developing Birth Center Members Open


1. Birth Centers Featured in Covered California Report

Freestanding Birth Centers were featured in a new report, "Current Best Evidence and Performance Measures for Improving Quality of Care and Delivery System Reform," published by Covered California, California's health insurance marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act. 

For the report, they conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the evidence relating to the value of alternate sites of care in five main areas: site of care payment neutrality, telehealth, retail clinics, urgent care, and birth centers.

Evaluators found "Birth Centers show promise for improving health outcomes, addressing disparities and lowering costs." So, what does this mean?   Covered California could consider encouraging health insurance plans "to contract with birth centers as a promising source of high-quality and cost-effective care, particularly among low-income women with diverse racial backgrounds."

Read the full Covered California Report>>


2. AABC Endorses Revised Levels of Maternal Care

The American Association of Birth Centers is pleased to endorse the revised Obstetric Care Consensus on Levels of Maternal Care (LoMC) developed jointly by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM).

LoMC, first published in 2015, encourages the development of collaborative relationships between hospitals that offer different levels of maternal care in proximate regions. To that end, LoMC defines the required minimal capabilities, physical facilities, and medical and support personnel for each level of care, which includes birth center, level I (basic care), level II (specialty care), level III (subspecialty care), and level IV (regional perinatal health care centers). Each subsequent level of care includes and builds on the capabilities of the lower levels.

This landmark document recognized freestanding birth centers as an integral part of many regionalized care systems. The revised consensus document identifies accredited birth centers as a level of maternal care and defers to the AABC Standards for Birth Centers as the authority on birth center care.

Read the Obstetric Care Consensus Levels of Maternal Care>>


3. Two AABC Developing Birth Center Members Open

We congratulate two AABC Developing Birth Center members on their openings.

  • La Vita Bella Birth Center in Jacksonville, North Carolina is celebrating it's grand opening with an Open House Brunch this weekend.  The midwife-owned freestanding birth center offers childbearing families midwifery care in the home or birth center setting as welll as a maternity and baby boutique.
  • The Mary V. O'Shea Birth Center at Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey opened earlier this month. It is the first in-hospital birth center, also known as an alongside midwifery unit, in New Jersey.  Staffed by nurse-midwives, the center is founded on the midwifery model of care.

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