The Task Force Releases Operational Guidance to Support “Raising the Bar for Maternal Health Equity and Excellence”

WASHINGTON (May 31, 2023) – The Health Care Transformation Task Force (HCTTF or Task Force), a group of leading health care payers, providers, purchasers, patient organizations, and value transformation partners, announces the release of operational guidance in support of Raising the Bar for Maternal Health Equity and Excellence. Led by the National Partnership for Women & Families and funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Raising the Bar for Maternal Health Equity and Excellence represents the culmination of several years of effort. This project first developed the broad-based Raising the Bar Framework, and then added onto this with guidance for applying that framework to improving experience and outcomes for birthing persons and newborns.  

Yesterday, the National Partnership released the Task Force’s last resource in a series of briefers, titled “Improving Access to and Payment for Maternity Care in Community Settings.” A growing body of evidence shows a correlation between birthing in community settings and improved outcomes, particularly for Black birthing people for whom the current maternal morbidity and mortality rate is significantly higher than their white counterparts. The brief provides a roadmap to the steps and existing tools for expanding Medicaid coverage of midwifery care, doula services, and other components of the community-based maternity model.   

Earlier this year, the National Partnership released the first two briefers in this series: Operational Guidance for Health Equity Data Collection and Sharing – A Focus on Data for Advancing Maternal Health Equity and Operational Guidance for Linking Payment to Improving Equity in Maternal Health Access, Care, and Outcomes. 

“The Task Force is proud to have contributed to the Raising the Bar project,” said Emily Brower, Senior Vice President, Clinical Integration and Physician Services, Trinity Health and HCTTF Chair. “As a multistakeholder consortium that supports accelerating the pace of delivery system transformation, the Task Force appreciates the opportunity to build operational guidance to address maternity care inequities in the United States.” 

“As a long-standing consumer advocate member of the Task Force, the National Partnership for Women & Families is excited to have HCTTF amplify Raising the Bar for Maternity Equity and Excellence with its diverse membership,” said Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, JD, Vice President, NPWF. “The supporting operational guidance will help organizations pursue innovative strategies for improving maternity care for all birthing people.” 

“The pursuit of health equity has been a core value of the Health Care Transformation Task Force since its inception in 2014, and addressing equity in maternity care has been a focus since 2020.” said Jeff Micklos, HCTTF Executive Director. “The Task Force is honored to have been a partner to the National Partnership and other Raising the Bar contributors in this effort.”  

Read the Press Release