Maternal and Infant Health Care in Rural Communities RFI Response

The Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF or Task Force) responded to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the CMS Office of Minority Health (OMH) request for information from health care stakeholders on opportunities to improve health care access, quality, and outcomes for women and infants in rural communities before, during, and after pregnancy.

The Task Force is committed to accelerating the dissemination of effective value-based payment strategies and delivery models for maternity care that improve maternal health outcomes, reduce disparities, and advance health equity. Last year HCTTF released a report: Expanding Access to Outcomes-Driven Maternity Care through Value-Based Payment, and shared recommendations with CMMI for implementing and alternative payment model for maternity care. HCTTF has also endorsed the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020, specifically the IMPACT to Save Moms Act.

Task Force Response Summary

  1. Payment reform to improve maternal health. CMS should test a multi-payer maternity care model in order to advance industry understanding and adoption of the most effective models for maternity care payment. CMS should also expedite the approval process for Medicaid state plan amendments and waivers to implement maternity care APMs that hold states and providers accountable for improved outcomes and provide guidance about how to do so through State Medicaid Director letters.
  2. Strengthening the Perinatal Workforce. CMS should provide clear guidance to State Medicaid Directors on reimbursement for maternity services delivered via telehealth to ensure this modality is supported during the COVID-19 public health emergency and beyond.

The Task Force believes that multi-sector action is needed to make meaningful improvements in maternal and infant health and thanks CMS for its leadership on this important matter.

Read the Letter Here