Identifying individual hospital levels of maternal care using administrative data.

TitleIdentifying individual hospital levels of maternal care using administrative data.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHandley SC, Passarella M, Srinivas SK, Lorch SA
JournalBMC Health Serv Res
Date Published2021 Jun 02

BACKGROUND: The goal of regionalized perinatal care, specifically levels of maternal care, is to improve maternal outcomes through risk-appropriate obstetric care. Studies of levels of maternal care are limited by current approaches to identify a hospital's level of care, often relying on hospital self-reported data, which is expensive and challenging to collect and validate. The study objective was to develop an empiric approach to determine a hospital's level of maternal care using administrative data reflective of the patient care provided and apply this approach to describe the levels of maternal care available over time.

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of mother-infant dyads who delivered in California, Missouri, and Pennsylvania hospitals from 2000 to 2009. Linked mother-infant administrative records with an infant born at 24-44 weeks' gestation and a birth weight of 400-8000 g were included. Using the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine descriptions of levels of maternal care, four levels were classified based on the appropriate location of care for patients with specific medical or pregnancy conditions. Individual hospitals were assigned a level of maternal care annually based on the volume of patients who delivered reflective of the four classified levels as determined by International Classification of Diseases and Current Procedural Terminology.

RESULTS: Based on the included 6,895,000 mother-infant dyads, the obstetric hospital levels of maternal care I, II, III and IV were identified. High-risk patients more frequently delivered in hospitals with higher level maternal care, accounting for 8.9, 10.9, 13.8, and 16.9% of deliveries in level I, II, III and IV hospitals, respectively. The total number of obstetric hospitals decreased over the study period, while the proportion of hospitals with high-level (level III or IV) maternal care increased. High-level hospitals were located in more densely populated areas.

CONCLUSION: Identification of the level of maternal care, independent of hospital self-reported variables, is feasible using administrative data. This empiric approach, which accounts for changes in hospitals over time, is a valuable framework for perinatal researchers and other stakeholders to inexpensively identify measurable benefits of levels of maternal care and characterize where specific patient populations receive care.

Alternate JournalBMC Health Serv Res
PubMed ID34074286