May 1, 2023
DHSS Launches Webpage and Map Displaying Missouri Facilities by Perinatal Levels of Care
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In 2018, Senate Bill 50 was passed by the Missouri General Assembly, which allowed the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to establish criteria for levels of maternal care and neonatal care designations for birthing facilities. As dozens of Missouri hospitals and providers have since completed the developed designation process, DHSS is launching the webpage, Health.mo.gov/PerinatalCare, which outlines the criteria developed for both maternal and neonatal levels of care and provides a map of these facilities by their designation level.
Annually, an average of 61 Missouri women die while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy, giving Missouri the seventh highest rate of maternal mortality in the United States. Risk-appropriate care is just one of many strategies underway in Missouri to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and infants. Integrating this strategy into a coordinated system helps to ensure pregnant women and infants at high risk of complications receive care at a birth facility that is best prepared to meet their health needs. This coordination and triage enhance the ability of women to give birth safely in their communities while providing support for circumstances when higher level resources are needed.
“As soon as a woman becomes aware of her pregnancy, she should seek and receive prenatal care with her health provider right away. So many beneficial things can be done early in pregnancy to improve outcomes for mom and baby,” said Dr. Heidi Miller, chief medical officer for DHSS. “One of the most important interventions is determining if the pregnancy is high risk, so that the mother can be educated, empowered and connected with the appropriate intensity of care.”
This week, DHSS recognizes Black Maternal Health Week and encourages Missourians to support the pregnant people in their lives to reduce factors that contribute to pregnancy-related complications and death. Missouri’s latest pregnancy-associated mortality review report can be viewed at https://health.mo.gov/data/pamr/pdf/2019-annual-report.pdf.