November 30, 2021
Houston, TX – HCA Houston Healthcare and parent company, HCA Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: HCA), one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers, and March of Dimes, a leading nonprofit fighting for the health of all moms and babies, recently announced a unique partnership that focuses on improving maternal mortality and morbidity outcomes through postpartum discharge education and by lowering hospital caesarian rates among low-risk, first-time mothers, head first position or NTSV (Nulliparous, Term, Singleton Vertex) rates.
“When families want to grow in the Houston area, we have a number of HCA Houston Healthcare hospitals that will work to ensure their delivery goes according to plan in a safe, patient-centered care environment,” said David Horst, M.D., medical director of neonatology services at HCA Houston Healthcare. “The specially-trained care teams who work in our advanced neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across Houston stand ready to care for newborns who need special care, including Level IV care, the highest level recognized in Texas. We have a long-standing partnership with March of Dimes and we are grateful to combine our efforts to allow moms the greatest chance to have healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies.”
“For more than 80 years, March of Dimes has been advocating to address the biggest threats facing moms and babies across our country,” said Amy Casseri, senior vice president of provider relations and women’s services at HCA Healthcare, who serves on the March of Dimes’ National Board of Trustees. “As HCA Healthcare is the largest system for delivering babies in the country, the two organizations are uniquely positioned to continue working together using their combined clinical data, pioneering research and passionate history to improve maternal health outcomes and save lives.”
Pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. have more than doubled over the past 25 years, and more women in the U.S. die from pregnancy-related complications than in any other developed country in the world. HCA Healthcare and the March of Dimes identified mission areas that are expected to have the greatest clinical impact on maternal mortality and help reduce that gap, including:
- NTSV Quality Initiatives: As part of the partnership, HCA Healthcare will partner with March of Dimes to improve maternal outcomes by assessing provider cultural influences and valuable practices. Physician vignettes and consumer education materials will be created to educate/bring awareness to maternal mortality and morbidity, as well as postpartum depression.
- Postpartum Education: Additionally, a goal of the partnership is to improve maternal outcomes through postpartum education. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as many as 40 percent of women do not attend a postpartum visit after giving birth. HCA Healthcare will work with March of Dimes to educate providers and patients via a vignette on postpartum health complications, including high blood pressure, hemorrhage and perinatal depression. The video will discuss the importance of the postpartum follow-up visit and encourage new mothers to schedule their postpartum visit prior to leaving the hospital. Postpartum care is important because new moms are at risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening health complications in the days and weeks after giving birth. Too many new moms experience, or have even died from, health problems that may be prevented by getting postpartum care.
“In the U.S. each day, one woman dies every 12 hours from pregnancy-related causes while tens of thousands of others nearly lose their lives, which is simply unacceptable,” said March of Dimes President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart. “HCA Healthcare is committed to reversing these statistics, and we’re proud to work with them to help every mom and baby get the best possible start.”
The partnership builds on HCA Healthcare’s continued commitment to March of Dimes with an additional contribution of up to $1.7 million to the organization in 2021 and 2022 through direct support, colleague fundraising and matching gifts to raise awareness and address the maternal and infant health crisis.
HCA Healthcare uses data from the more than 215,000 babies it delivers every year to learn and implement new policies and practices to improve pre-natal, natal and post-natal care. This has resulted in HCA Healthcare using standardized protocols for managing hypertension during pregnancy, preventing leg blood clots for C-section patients, decreasing deliveries prior to 39 weeks, and controlling postpartum hemorrhage.
On November 15, March of Dimes released its 2021 Report Card revealing that for the first time in six years, the U.S. preterm birth rate declined slightly from 10.2% to 10.1%, with the nation keeping its C- grade. In Texas, the preterm birth rate improved from 11.0% to 10.8% in 2020, earning the state a D grade on this year’s Report Card. Despite fewer preterm births and a continued decline in infant deaths nationwide, maternal deaths and women suffering from severe health complications due to pregnancy are continuing to rise. More than 700 women in the U.S. die from pregnancy-related causes each year and over the last 30 years these deaths have more than doubled.
The Report Card highlights the stark disparities that cut across all measures of maternal and infant health and outlines the policy actions and partnerships needed to improve the health of our nation’s families. To view the Report Card and actions you can take to support moms and babies, visit marchofdimes.org/ReportCard.