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Blue Cross and Blue Shield Reports on America’s Maternal Health Crisis

Sep. 11, 2018

The U.S. now has the highest rate of maternal death among developed nations, and that rate is increasing rather than decreasing. About 700 women in the U.S. die annually from pregnancy-related complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A staggering 60% of those deaths could have been prevented, the CDC reported.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) looks at the data and the national efforts intended to reverse the trend in “Maternal Health in Crisis Mode ,” a new feature story in our online magazine, Making the Health Care System Work .

Jenné Johns, the company's director of quality improvement and health equity, shared what the industry is doing to try to reverse the trend. "Among the health care community, there is a growing understanding of the importance of driving targeted solutions to meet the clinical, economic and cultural needs of these women," Johns says.

The feature includes an interview with Dr. Carla Ortique, a family medicine and OB/GYN doctor in BCBSTX’s provider network who is on the medical staff at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Ortique is vice chair of the state of Texas’ Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force.

Included with the article is a video interview with Rhonda King, a nurse care coordinator with BCBSTX's Special Beginnings program, which provides support for members during and after a pregnancy. King has 30 years of experience as a high-risk OB labor and delivery nurse.