The Leapfrog Group and Money on Wednesday released their list of the "Best Hospitals for Maternity Care," recognizing 259 hospitals for providing "the best care a hospital can offer a new life."
For the list, the Leapfrog Group partnered with Money to analyze maternity care data submitted to the 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which was completed by over 2,200 hospitals in 2022. Participants were required to submit the survey data no later than Aug. 31.
To be included in the list, eligible hospitals had to carry an A or B letter grade on the spring 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade assessment. In addition, they were required to meet seven criteria specific to providing maternity care, which included:
1. Early elective deliveries
Deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation can pose risks to babies and their mothers, including admissions to neonatal ICUs, extended hospital stays, and increased costs to patients and payers. All hospitals on the list were required to meet Leapfrog's standard of a rate of 5% or less for early elective deliveries—a measure that is endorsed by the National Quality Forum and used by The Joint Commission.
2. Cesarean birth
To meet Leapfrog's standard for cesarean births, hospitals had to achieve the Healthy People 2030 Nulliparous, Term, Singleton, Vertex Cesarean Birth rate of 23.6% or less.
To be eligible for the list, hospitals were required to meet Leapfrog's standard of an episiotomy rate of 5% or less.
4. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis
To meet Leapfrog's standard, hospitals were required to be at least 90% compliant in providing DVT prophylaxis to women undergoing c-sections.
According to Leapfrog and Money, adequate preventive practices have been shown to reduce the number of post-cesarean deaths from thromboembolism by roughly two-thirds.
5. Bilirubin screening
To qualify for the list, hospitals are required to meet Leapfrog's standard of screening for bilirubin in at least 90% of infants.
If hyperbilirubinemia is not detected and treated in a newborn, it can result in irreversible brain damage, permanent visual, muscular, or other disabilities, and death.
6. High-risk deliveries
Hospitals that electively admit patients with high-risk deliveries were required to meet Leapfrog's standard of caring for at least 50 very-low birth weight babies annually or having "better than expected" performance on Vermont Oxford Network's measure of death or morbidity.
7. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade assessment score
For hospitals that were eligible for a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a letter grade of A or B was required to be included on the list. However, this requirement did not apply to facilities that were not eligible for a safety grade, including military treatment facilities, specialty facilities, and critical access hospitals.
Overall, the 259 hospitals on the list include hospitals that provide care for uncomplicated pregnancies, and those that provide care for high-risk births. According to Money and Leapfrog, the hospitals included in the list of the "Best Hospitals for Maternity Care" deliver "the best care a hospital can offer a new life."
Read the full list here.