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MDHHS to issue maternal health quality payments to hospitals

Program to help save lives by reducing maternal mortality


LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will begin providing payments this fall to hospital birthing units fully participating in the Michigan Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (MI AIM) that have committed to participating in the Joint Commission Maternal Levels of Care (MLoC) Verification Program. 


Hospitals can be reimbursed for the costs associated with MLoC verification, including the annual fee and on-site visit fees, in addition to receiving a lump sum payment for participation in both programs. The program is being funded by $9 million in general fund dollars and funds will be released to all participating hospitals in September.  

“Supporting Michigan birthing hospitals is critical as we work to save lives during pregnancy and the postpartum period,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “MDHHS’ strategic vision seeks to achieve zero preventable deaths and zero health disparities. This innovative program supports that goal through hospital implementation of patient safety bundles and risk-appropriate care for pregnant and postpartum people.”  

From 2011-2020, 172 women died of pregnancy-related causes in Michigan, and in 2021 the severe maternal morbidity (SMM) rate was 100 events per 10,000 inpatient delivery hospitalizations. Hypertensive disorders and hemorrhage are leading causes of pregnancy-related maternal mortality in Michigan. However, these tragedies impact Michigan families inequitably. From 2016-2020, Black women were 2.2 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.  


MI AIM is a quality initiative program dedicated to improving the culture of maternal safety by decreasing preventable severe maternal morbidity and mortality through the implementation of early recognition patient safety bundles, sets of practices that improve the quality of care provided during delivery and in the postpartum period. MI AIM has helped hospitals achieve a 54.5% improvement in hemorrhage-related SMM and a 15.4% improvement in hypertension-related SMM since the adoption of the MI AIM program in 2016. 


The Joint Commission Maternal Levels of Care Verification Program provides hospitals with an independent, external evaluation of their organization’s maternal health expertise, equipment and resources. This assessment allows for risk-appropriate care of pregnant and postpartum people, reducing the risk of poor maternal outcomes.


Birthing hospitals wishing to learn more can visit MI AIM’s Maternal Levels of Care website or The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care Verification website


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