Statement of Cathy Bennett, NJHA President and CEO, on New Jersey's 2020 Maternal Health Report Card

PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- "Today's report sums up New Jersey's journey in improving maternal health – there is much to celebrate, but also more that we have yet to accomplish. Each year, New Jersey's 49 birthing hospitals welcome more than 100,000 babies into the world, and they have committed themselves to ensuring the safety and well-being of the mothers and babies in their care. We thank them and their care teams for always being there, on the frontlines. We also appreciate the leadership of First Lady Tammy Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli for keeping maternal health in the spotlight.

"We are pleased that over 80 percent of birthing hospitals in our state have reduced their C-section birth rates for low-risk, first time mothers and that others are learning from their colleagues' experiences as they continue their work to improve outcomes for moms and babies. Areas that demand further work include complications that lead to severe maternal morbidity and mortality and the racial disparities that are evident in those numbers. Because birth data isn't deemed complete until one-year post-partum, this data is two years old. Rest assured that quality improvement efforts continue and we look forward to seeing their impact in future reports.

"Hospitals are committed to closing racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes in New Jersey. This is an area we have been tracking through NJHA's Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation. CHART's analysis of 2018 data identified racial disparities in the rate of improvement for overall C-sections, with the rate declining 16.4 percent for white women, 9.5 for Asian women and 6.7 percent for black women. Disparities also existed by age group, with mothers age 20-24 showing the most significant reduction in the overall C-section rate, at 21.3 percent. The overall C-section rate declined 12.3 for women ages 30-39, while mothers age 45 and older experienced a 4.7 percent increase in the overall C-section rate. The data provides valuable insight for targeting our efforts to ensure that all New Jersey women are part of the progress being made in safe, successful deliveries."

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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)

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