Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration
The NIHCM Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of America's health care system.
  • Data Insights

    Mental illness has become more common over the last decade, particularly among 18- to 25-year-olds. This Data Insights looks at trends in mental health and their implications for the future.

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  • Briefing

    NIHCM Foundation led a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss social determinants of health and the opioid crisis with Founding President and CEO Nancy Chockley, former CMS Administrator Don Berwick, Curtis Barnett of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Craig Samitt of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Grant Baldwin from the CDC.

    Press Release Watch the Video
  • Data Insights

    As urbanization increases, an older, sicker and poorer population remains in rural America. Despite the health care challenges posed by these changes, promising initiatives can improve rural health.

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  • Advisory Board

    NIHCM Foundation is pleased to welcome Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Sherry Glied, PhD, and Katherine Baicker, PhD, to its distinguished Advisory Board. Their ideas and insights will advance NIHCM's mission to improve health care for millions of Americans.

    Press Release Advisory Board
  • Awards

    NIHCM Foundation hosted the 25th Annual NIHCM Awards at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. to recognize outstanding health care research and journalism.

    Press Release Winners Finalists
  • News

    NIHCM welcomed Secretary Azar to a meeting in March to discuss efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services to transform health care by lowering costs and improving value for patients.

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Events

November 18, 2019
alliance-image-111819

Part of the Beyond the Beltway: Health Policy Webinars for Journalists series, this webinar will explore the current landscape of the long-term care delivery system.

November 13, 2019
Rural-Health-Webinar-Graphic

This webinar explored how leaders are leveraging the unique strengths of rural communities to develop and implement promising solutions.

In the News

November 2019
Population Health Spotlight
aces-in-the-news 4

Born Too Early: Improving Maternal and Child Health by Reducing Early Elective Deliveries

Nationwide, up to ten percent of all babies are scheduled for delivery via labor-inducing medication or cesarean section before 39 weeks gestation without medical indication.1 Despite the serious neonatal and maternal health risks associated with early elective deliveries (EED), many women deliver during this time period due to provider preference, convenience, or for relief of symptoms.2 ,3 Evidence suggests that most women are unaware of the possible dangers of choosing to deliver their babies prior to 39 weeks gestation.4 Health plans and health plan foundations can play an important role in reducing EEDs by implementing payment reforms, collaborating with state and local government and community-based organizations, and educating health care providers and members about the dangers of EED.

This brief will discuss the health risks and costs associated with early elective deliveries, federal government and national initiatives to support full-term pregnancies, and health plan and health plan foundation ap-proaches to reducing EED.

Early Elective Deliveries: Paying the Price

The potential negative health consequences of early elective delivery, along with the associated costs, are placing an unnecessary burden on infants, mothers and the health care system as a whole.

Infants Face An Increased Risk Of:

  • Lower brain mass – the brain at 35 weeks weighs only two-thirds of what it does at 39-40 weeks5
  • Low birth weight – the average preterm baby weighs less than 5 pounds while the average full-term baby weighs between 7 and 8 pounds6
  • Feeding problems7
  • Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) – one in ten premature babies develop RDS8
  • Longer hospital stays – the average newborn stay is 2 days versus 14 days for preterm infants9

Mothers Face An Increased Risk Of:

  • Postpartum depression10
  • Cesarean delivery – elective inductions are two times more likely to result in cesarean delivery11
  • Complications requiring longer hospital stays – the average vaginal delivery stay is 2 days versus 4 days for a cesarean delivery with complications12

Price to the Health Care System:

Elective induction of labor is associated with an increased risk of a cesarean delivery, and average total payments for cesarean births are close to 50 percent higher than payments for vaginal births (Figure 1). In addition, infants born prior to 39 weeks are more likely to have stays in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), at a considerable increased expense to both commercial insurers and Medicaid (Figure 2).

Federal & National Initiatives

Reducing early elective deliveries is key to reducing the nation’s infant mortality rate and improving birth outcomes.13 The U.S. currently ranks 32nd in infant mortality compared to other industrialized nations, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality has called for a reduction in the infant mortality rate from 6.15 to 5.5 per 1,000 live births by 2015.14,15 In order to achieve this goal, many federal government agencies and national organizations are spearheading important initiatives to prevent preterm birth and early elective deliveries.

These efforts include developing evidence-based interventions at the state level; improving hospital quality reporting to evaluate progress in reducing EEDs; sharing data, best practices, and other resources; and creating provider and consumer educational campaigns. More information on these diverse initiatives can be found in Appendix A.

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Events

November 18, 2019
alliance-image-111819

Part of the Beyond the Beltway: Health Policy Webinars for Journalists series, this webinar will explore the current landscape of the long-term care delivery system.

November 13, 2019
Rural-Health-Webinar-Graphic

This webinar explored how leaders are leveraging the unique strengths of rural communities to develop and implement promising solutions.

In the News

November 2019
Population Health Spotlight
aces-in-the-news 4

Grants

Journalism GrantsJournalism Grant Program

We are no longer accepting letters of inquiry for the 2019-2020 round of grantmaking. NIHCM will notify grant winners in November 2019.

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Investigator-Initiated Research Grant Program

We are no longer accepting letters of inquiry for the 2019-2020 round of grantmaking. A small number of applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal in September.

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Awards

Winners Named in the 25th Annual Research and Journalism Awards

Winners Announcment 2018 1

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 25th Annual NIHCM Foundation Research and Journalism Awards! The winners and finalists were honored at a banquet in Washington, DC, in May.

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