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Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative (2013-2017)



About the Program 


Strong start birth centers


Preliminary Data

resources for birth centers


National strong start report



In 2012, AABC was selected by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to participate in a study of innovative prenatal care models that show promise of reducing preterm birth and improving outcomes and satisfaction among mothers while reducing costs. In addition to the birth center model, the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative set out to study two other models of enhanced prenatal care, CenteringPregnancy and the Maternity Care Home. AABC’s Strong Start program aimed to use birth center care to help prevent preterm birth, low birthweight, and costly interventions for those at the highest risk for complications. From the time that enrollment began in June of 2013, a diverse group of more than 8,300 women have participated in AABC’s Strong Start program at 46 birth center sites, with over 6,100 Strong Start births.


AABC Strong Start officially concluded the data collection portion of the program in December 2016 and began the process of cleaning client data collected through AABC’s Perinatal Data Registry (PDR). All program data were submitted in April to the national Strong Start evaluation team, which includes The Urban Institute, American Institutes for Research, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The national evaluation team will analyze these data as well as client information collected directly from women and link them to state Medicaid claims data for cost analysis. The findings will be presented in a final evaluation report, expected to be released in 2018. In the meantime, AABC Strong Start will begin to share some preliminary findings from our PDR data analysis.


The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1D1-12-001 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation.  The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.  This project does not limit a fee-for-service Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP patient’s freedom to choose a particular health care provider.

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