AABC Birth Center Care Wins Health Value Award

Posted By: Kate Bauer AABC News Release,

The Health Value Awards recognize outstanding services, products, and programs across 24 categories spanning the health care industry.  At this year’s ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 28th, AABC received a Health Value Award in the Program Provider - Specialty Obstetrics category.  AABC was among an elite group of 30 companies and individuals recognized for leading innovative changes in healthcare. Other award recipients included The Leapfrog Group, Anthem BCBS Enhanced Personal Health, American Airlines, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, and the State of Montana Health Care & Benefits Division, to name a few.

The Validation Institute validated the claim that AABC Birth Centers present a high-value proposition for low-risk maternity care through improved outcomes. 

Midwife-led birth centers are a strong model for decreasing the high rate of cesarean birth in the U.S., while maintaining the highest safety standards. In the National Birth Center Study II fewer than 1 in 16 (6%) of the study participants had a cesarean birth, while for similar low-risk women receiving care in the hospital setting, the rate is estimated to be almost 1 in 4 (24%). This performance is further supported by the Strong Start Initiative which showed that clients who received birth center prenatal care had cesareans at a significantly lower rate than the matched comparison group.

With enhanced prenatal care in birth centers, the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies is significantly reduced. The Strong Start Initiative showed that preterm births were 26% lower than those for women with usual care.

AABC Birth Center care is associated with improvement of all health indicators for mothers and babies including lower preterm birth and low birth weight births, longer gestation, higher average birth weights, lower cesarean rates, and more weekend births.  This model of care is family centered and leads to a high level of client satisfaction.  Cost savings are significant and result from fewer cesarean births and inductions of labor, better newborn health at birth, and clients better prepared for a healthy birth and newborn.

The beauty of the birth center model of care is that it is based on the relationship between the client and the midwifery care provider. For optimum outcomes, establishing a trusting relationship with the care provider ensures a higher rate of success. The freestanding birth center model has been growing and developing in the US since the 1980s. The Standards for Birth Centers are evidence-based and have been shown in multiple studies to be effective at achieving high quality care and outcomes. The innovation is taking the long established and well researched midwifery model of care and placing it in a healthcare facility environment that supports the provision of that care. Clients with risk factors such as lower education levels, economic stressors, and lack of resources respond to birth center care as positively as clients with higher education levels because care is individualized. Midwifery model prenatal care requires more time from providers but leads to significant cost savings in the short and long term.

The Health Value Awards were established by the Validation Institute to spotlight outstanding value-based healthcare services and are awarded each year to organizations that consistently deliver higher value results, stronger health outcomes, and lower costs than conventional approaches.  Health Value Award candidates complete a lengthy and rigorous application process, particularly those, like AABC, applying in a validated category.  These companies undergo an in-depth evaluation to ensure the accuracy of their performance claims.  The Validation Institute is an independent, objective third party organization focused on changing healthcare.  Their advisory board includes executives of major companies such as Walmart, Michelin and Comcast.