HAP's Latest News

What Makes a ‘Birthing-Friendly’ Hospital?

November 09, 2023

This week, the Biden administration launched its new “Birthing-Friendly” hospital designation to recognize high-quality maternity care.

Dozens of Pennsylvania hospitals were among those recognized with the new designation. The initiative is a part of a broader effort to address the nation’s maternal health crisis.

“By highlighting hospitals and health systems demonstrating a strong commitment to maternity care quality, the ‘Birthing-Friendly’ designation is one powerful example of how we are centering health equity in everything we do,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Criteria:  The designation identifies hospitals and health systems that participate in a statewide or national perinatal quality improvement collaborative program and that implement evidence-based care to improve maternal health.
  • Overall goal:  The new designation aims to improve outcomes, as 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, with concerning disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups. The new designation is “a step towards ensuring that all pregnant and post-partum people can find high-quality maternity care,” the federal government noted.
    • Last year, the White House released its blueprint to address the maternal health crisis.
  • By the numbers:  71 Pennsylvania hospitals were among the more than 2,200 facilities that received the designation.
  • Where to find:  The interactive map of hospitals receiving the designation is online.
  • Quotable:  “The hospitals and health systems that are designated as ‘Birthing-Friendly’ are an important tool for consumers in their search for first rate care,” Xavier Becerra, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “We will continue to take action to further advance maternity care quality, safety, and equity.”

HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals are dedicated to supporting infant and maternal health. This includes a focus on population health and participation in initiatives that are dedicated to improving outcomes across the commonwealth.

For additional information, contact Robert Shipp III, PhD, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president, population health and clinical affairs.