Getting Payment Right

How to Unlock High-Value Care Through Appropriate Birth Center Reimbursement

Getting Payment Right: How to Unlock High-Value Care Through Appropriate Birth Center ReimbursementInterest in birth centers is growing rapidly among system stakeholders in response to evidence showing improved outcomes and reduced costs with birth center care. Enhancing access to birth center care is a strategy that could serve multiple policy aims, including addressing health disparities, providing primary maternity care access in maternity care "deserts," and reducing cesarean and preterm birth rates and costs at the population level. However, as most current payment systems do not align payment with high-value care, inconsistent and inadequate fees and payment systems serve as a barrier to the growth and integration of the birth center model. This report outlines the birth center model of care, provides an in-depth analysis of the birth center payment system, and presents guidance to birth centers, payers/purchasers, and health systems to ensure equitable access to and financial viability of the birth center model.

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Complementary Resources

  • Introductory webinar to white paper "Getting Payment Right: How to Unlock High-Value Care¬†Through Appropriate Birth Center Reimbursement" [view on demand]
  • AABC Standards for Birth Centers [download]
  • CABC Accreditation: What Policy Makers Need to Know [download]
  • Toolkit for Best Practices in Birth Center Regulations [download]
  • Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers website [link]