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Thomas Gaiter Foundation Announces Release of Data Underscoring Better Birth Outcomes for Strong Start Birth Centers

Improved outcomes observed among Birth Center participants may offer health benefits & cost savings that are realized long past the infant's first year of life.

Strong Start birth center outcomes demonstrate that this model of holistic prenatal care can address economic and social challenges and reduce rates of preterm and low birth weight.”
— Jill Alliman, DNP, CNM Strong Start Project Director
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, December 4, 2018 / -- Washington, DC, November 26, 2018: The Thomas Gaiter Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and health of all through financial assistance, support, and insight, this week announced Strong Start for Mothers and Newborn data have been officially released to the public.

On February 8, 2012, the then Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, announced the launched Strong Start, a new initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI)to study innovative prenatal care models to reduce preterm birth and improve outcomes for newborns and pregnant women. An evaluation of the full performance of the 27 Strong Start program awardees (2013-2017) was released on November 9, 2018. The report details outcomes of the programs' goals to improve quality of care, reduce rates of preterm births and low birth weight infants, and reduce the cost to Medicaid during pregnancy, birth, and the infant's first year of life.

"The Strong Start evaluation report shows that when women in birth center care are matched to women with similar medical risk profiles, preterm birth, low birth weight births, and unnecessary cesareans are all significantly reduced by birth center care," said Jill Alliman, DNP, CNM, Strong Start Project Director at American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). "Strong Start birth center outcomes demonstrate that this model of holistic prenatal care can address economic and social challenges and reduce rates of preterm and low birth weight."

The three models examined were distributed across the nation, including Maternity Care Homes, 26,007 enrollees, Group Prenatal Care, 10,508 enrollees, and freestanding midwifery model Birth Centers, 8,806 enrollees.

The report found that women who received prenatal care in Strong Start Birth Centers had better birth outcomes and lower costs relative to similar Medicaid beneficiaries not enrolled in Strong Start. Particularly, rates of preterm births, low birth weight infants, and cesarean sections were lower among Birth Center participants. Additionally, maternity costs were reduced by more than $2,000 per mother-infant pair during birth and the following year.

“For all Medicaid programs seeking to improve health outcomes of their covered populations, our findings have uncovered the importance and success of utilizing birth centers today,” said Thomas Gaiter, MD. “We hope all agencies and providers take these important findings to heart, curating a better healthcare plan in the future.”

The Thomas Gaiter Foundation strongly supports the positive results as reported by the CMS/CMMI.
Since the focus of the foundation is education and health, the new government report will certainly impact the health and well-being of mothers and infants as identified by the Strong Start Project.

For more information, visit:

Thomas Gaiter
Thomas Gaiter Foundation
+1 202-580-6526
email us here