ACOG and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Working Together to Improve Maternal Outcomes in Texas

August 7, 2018

Washington, D.C. - Last week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) completed the first site survey in Texas as part of an ongoing effort to improve maternal outcomes across the state, at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital located at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston.

The site survey was designed to assess Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s compliance with Texas Administrative Code that requires all hospitals that provide maternal care to attain designations based on the level or complexity of maternal care they are able to provide to patients. The Texas legislation, passed in 2013, and the subsequently developed maternal designation rule, effective in March 2018, is one of many efforts to address maternal morbidity and mortality statewide. Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is first in Texas to participate in the verification program and complete a site survey and take an important first step toward achieving a level of care designation. 

The Texas survey is an integral step in the efforts to address maternal health and represents an important milestone in ACOG’s broader Levels of Maternal Care (LoMC) initiative. This national initiative outlines a classification system that promotes regionalized care. To achieve this goal, the LoMC program promotes the development of relationships between institutions with different levels of maternal care abilities that are complementary but distinct from levels of neonatal care. In operation, this cooperative and multi-level approach supports pregnant women receiving maternal health care in facilities that best meets their individual needs.

“ACOG is pleased to work with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital as they lead the way in Texas to improve maternal outcomes,” said Christopher Zahn, M.D., vice president, Practice Activities. “We commend their dedication to patient safety and efforts to create an environment of continuous quality improvement.”

“Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital is whole-heartedly committed to delivering high-quality care through advanced programs that address both maternal and fetal complications in medically complex pregnancies,” said Susie Distefano, sr. vice president and CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. 

“We stand in full support of legislative measures to improve maternal health and mortality in Texas, and the role ACOG has taken on in an effort to ensure best practices and raise the level of maternal-fetal care throughout our state and country,” said Sean Blackwell, M.D., a maternal-fetal specialist affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and chair and professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

To complete the ACOG Texas LoMC survey, a team of experts conducted a complete, in-depth overview of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, its staff, services available, and processes for maternal care. ACOG will send a report based on its survey results to the hospital to submit with its application for level designation to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

As part of the Texas Hospital Level of Care Designations for Maternal Care legislation, every hospital across the state will be required to complete site surveys and receive an official designation of care from the state by Sept. 1, 2020 to continue to be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement. ACOG has opened an office in Texas and is working to partner with Texas hospitals to support them through this process. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care.