The Joint Commission and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) announced a new collaboration to help reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States through the development of a new Maternal Levels of Care (MLC) Verification Program, available Jan. 1, 2022.
The Levels of Maternal Care (LoMC) Obstetric Care Consensus, first published in 2015 by ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, defines the required minimal capabilities, physical facilities, and medical and support personnel for each level of care, which includes:
- Level I (basic care)
- Level II (specialty care)
- Level III (subspecialty care)
- Level IV (regional perinatal health care centers)
Conducted by The Joint Commission, the verification process will involve an on-site comprehensive review of the maternal services available in hospitals/critical access hospitals and a level of maternal care determination.
In addition to verification, The Joint Commission and ACOG are considering a certification in obstetric care for healthcare organizations that meet advanced criteria beyond the level requirements. Through this initiative, the two organizations will combine efforts to improve the quality and safety of obstetric care within communities.
ACOG, the foremost professional organization representing women’s health physicians, has led and been a part of longstanding and continued efforts to eliminate preventable maternal mortality, particularly in the areas of advocacy and clinical practice. ACOG is dedicated to working with health care professionals, legislators, community organizations and other stakeholders to address the multiple, complex causes that have led to the untimely deaths of so many mothers in the United States.
The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care, implemented 13 new elements of performance to improve the quality and safety of care provided to women during all stages of pregnancy and postpartum, effective Jan. 1, 2021. The Joint Commission also began publicly reporting hospital performance on two perinatal care measures for cesarean birth rates and unexpected complications in term newborns earlier this year.