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Chen J, Cox S, Kuklina EV, Ferre C, Barfield W, Li R. Assessment of Incidence and Factors Associated With Severe Maternal Morbidity After Delivery Discharge Among Women in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(2):e2036148. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.36148
What proportion of de novo severe maternal morbidity is diagnosed after delivery discharge, and what are the most common factors and maternal characteristics associated with severe maternal morbidity among women in the US?
In this cohort study of 2 667 325 women in the US with delivery hospitalizations between 2010 and 2014, 14% and 16% of severe maternal morbidity among those with commercial and Medicaid insurance, respectively, developed de novo within 6 weeks after delivery discharge. The most common factors and maternal characteristics associated with severe maternal morbidity after delivery were different than those identified at delivery.
The study’s findings suggest that expanding the focus of severe maternal morbidity assessment to the postdelivery discharge period could improve understanding of severe maternal morbidity and may create opportunities to improve maternity care.
Previous efforts to examine severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in the US have focused on delivery hospitalizations. Little is known about de novo SMM that occurs after delivery discharge.
To investigate the incidence, timing, factors, and maternal characteristics associated with de novo SMM after delivery discharge among women in the US.
Design, Setting, and Participants
In this retrospective cohort study, data from the IBM MarketScan Multi-State Medicaid database and the IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database were used to construct a sample of women aged 15 to 44 years who delivered between January 1, 2010, and September 30, 2014. Severe maternal morbidity was reported by the timing of diagnosis, and the associated maternal characteristics were examined. Women in the Medicaid and commercial insurance sample were classified into 3 distinct outcome groups: (1) those without any SMM during the delivery hospitalization and the postdelivery period (reference group), (2) those who exhibited at least 1 factor associated with SMM during the delivery hospitalization, and (3) those who exhibited any factor associated with de novo SMM after delivery discharge (defined as SMM that was first diagnosed in the inpatient setting during the 6 weeks [or 42 days] after discharge from the delivery hospitalization, conditional on no factor associated with SMM being identified during delivery). Data were analyzed from February to July 2020.
Timing of SMM diagnosis.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Women with SMM were identified using diagnosis and procedure codes from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification for the 21 factors associated with SMM that were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A total of 2 667 325 women in the US with delivery hospitalizations between 2010 and 2014 were identified; of those, 809 377 women (30.3%) had Medicaid insurance (30.3%; mean [SD] age, 25.6 [5.5] years; 51.1% White), and 1 857 948 women (69.7%; mean [SD] age, 30.6 [5.4] years; 36.4% from the southern region of the US) had commercial insurance. Among those with Medicaid insurance, 17 584 women (2.2%) experienced SMM during the delivery hospitalization, and 3265 women (0.4%) experienced de novo SMM after delivery discharge. Among those with commercial insurance, 32 079 women (1.7%) experienced SMM during the delivery hospitalization, and 5275 women (0.3%) experienced de novo SMM after hospital discharge. A total of 5275 SMM cases (14.1%) and 3265 SMM cases (15.7%) among women with commercial and Medicaid insurance, respectively, developed de novo within 6 weeks after hospital discharge; of those, 3993 cases (75.7%) in the commercial insurance cohort and 2399 cases (73.5%) in the Medicaid cohort were identified in the first 2 weeks after discharge. The most common factors associated with SMM varied based on the timing of diagnosis. In the Medicaid population, non-Hispanic Black women (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.53; 95% CI, 1.48-1.58), Hispanic women (aOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.37-1.57), and women of other races or ethnicities (aOR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.33-1.47) had higher rates of SMM during delivery hospitalization than non-Hispanic White women; however, only the disparity between Black and White women (aOR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.57-1.81) persisted into the postdischarge period.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this study, 15.7% of SMM cases in the Medicaid cohort and 14.1% of SMM cases in the commercial insurance cohort first occurred after the delivery hospitalization, with notable disparities in factors and maternal characteristics associated with the development of SMM. These findings suggest a need to expand the focus of SMM assessment to the postdelivery discharge period.
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