- CMS Principal Deputy Administrator and CMO Patrick Conway outlined the results of the agency's Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Strategy II Initiative, a program that provides prenatal care services to pregnant women with the purpose of reducing early deliveries, in a blog post on Wednesday.
- Strong Start's second annual evaluation report shows participants had "lower rates of cesarean section than national averages, and higher rates of breastfeeding than national averages among similar populations," Conway writes.
- Enrollment increased to a total of 23,000 women as of the end of the 2015 first calendar quarter.
Results also show program participants' preterm birth rates were similar to the national averages, their preterm birth rates were lower than national averages within racial-ethnic groups, and their vaginal birth after cesarean rates were nearly twice the national average, according to Conway.
"Although findings must be interpreted with caution because they are descriptive, we are pleased with what we have found thus far," Conway writes.
By the time Strong Start ends in February 2017, CMS expects it to have more than 40,000 participants.