23 January 2023- The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced nearly $430,000 in grant funding to expand CenteringPregnancy sites in Maryland. The funding will help provide critical prenatal services to eligible pregnant people in priority jurisdictions in the state.
“CenteringPregnancy benefits pregnant people, babies, and health care providers,” said MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Jinlene Chan. “Pregnant people and providers take the journey together, leaving no one behind, and investing in the well-being of both parent and baby.”
Maryland has identified group prenatal care as a promising intervention with the potential to reduce pregnancy-related deaths and preterm births, and improve maternal-infant outcomes.
CenteringPregnancy is a group prenatal care model that offers patients more time with a provider and encourages interaction with other pregnant people. Through the service, participants meet as a group to discuss maternal and infant health and receive clinical care from a provider. Participants are grouped based on similar estimated delivery dates and meet for 90-minute prenatal or postpartum visits at regular intervals.
Evidence shows the CenteringPregnancy model reduces prenatal health care costs, lowers the risk of preterm birth, and closes the disparity gap in preterm birth between Black and White birthing people. CenteringPregnancy has been shown effective in increasing entry into prenatal care during the first trimester and breastfeeding rates while reducing rates of prenatal visit no-shows, preterm births, and low birth weight.
Grant funding will support the following programs:
Mercy Medical Center will receive approximately $86,000 over three years to implement the CenteringPregnancy model at their Mead Building location in Baltimore City. The program will serve patients from Mercy’s downtown Metropolitan OB/GYN practice, which sees a high number of Black birthing people and Medicaid recipients.
Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) will receive approximately $343,000 over three years to establish, support, and certify new CenteringPregnancy programs in priority jurisdictions. CHI will recruit four new CenteringPregnancy sites in priority jurisdictions in Maryland. It will provide administrative support for the implementation of the CenteringPregnancy model of group prenatal care, and offer continual technical assistance to sites during their two-year implementation phase.
The funding announced today comes through Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission and coincides with Maternal Health Awareness Day 2023.
Maternal and child health is a top population health priority for the state. It is part of Maryland’s SIHIS, a coordinated public-private initiative to improve health, reduce disparities, and transform healthcare delivery. To learn more about efforts to improve the health of families statewide, visit the MDH Maternal and Child Health Bureau – SIHIS Webpage.
For more information about Medicaid services for pregnant people and children, visit the MDH Office of Medicaid Maternal and Child Health Programs.