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MBGH and Partners Help Reduce Rate of Unnecessary Early Deliveries to 2% in Illinois

By MBGHConnect Community posted 11-10-2015 11:24 AM


July 22, 2015

Leaders from provider, carrier, consumer, and business groups worked with hospitals and doctors to improve maternity care and reduce elective pre-term births

CHICAGO – The rate of early elective deliveries, babies delivered too early for non-medical reasons, in Illinois has been reduced to 2% for 2014, according to the Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH). This is down from a rate of more than 24% in 2010, as reported by hospitals participating in the Leapfrog Group’s annual Hospital Survey.

Through the support of a three-year grant, provided by the National Business Coalition on Health, United Health Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, MBGH led a collaborative of diverse health care stakeholders and coordinated efforts that resulted in over 70% of Illinois hospitals reducing the number of unnecessary C-sections and inductions. The collaborative was comprised of Chicago and Illinois hospitals, health plans, purchasers, community organizations, patients and other key stakeholders.

Having a baby prior to full-term for a non-medical reasons, such as accommodating the convenience of the doctor or patient request, can result in long-term health issues and a cost burden that can include NICU admissions, longer hospital stays. Recent studies indicate that the brain and lungs are still developing in the last few weeks of pregnancy and delivering prior to 39 weeks can negatively impact their growth.

“This is the first public health problem we’ve actually been able to solve in my 40+ years in health care,” said Larry Boress, MBGH president and CEO. “We’ve shown that by coordinating efforts across all health care stakeholders, we can fill gaps in care and improve the overall health of targeted populations. It’s a template for other communities and health conditions.”

MBGH used data from Leapfrog reporting hospitals and the state health department to identify the issues and collaborated with multiple groups, including the March of Dimes, Illinois Hospital Association, the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health, Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative, EverThrive Illinois, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Cigna, Humana, CBS2 Chicago, NBC5 Chicago, Midwest Employee Benefit Funds Coalition, and many other business and consumer groups to address clinical, data, policy, benefit and educational challenges.

“We salute MBGH as a national model for how we can change health care for the better,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We’re proud they used Leapfrog reporting to show where these unnecessary deliveries were happening, which in turn galvanized an extraordinary community partnership. Today there are thousands fewer babies suffering in NICUs in Illinois thanks to this inspiring leadership.”

Educational materials for consumers and employers can be found on MBGH’s Take Control of Your Health website. Rates of early elective deliveries by hospital, as well as statewide averages, are publicly available on the Leapfrog Group’s website,

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care.

About the Midwest Business Group on Health

With more than 120 member organizations, the Midwest Business Group on Health is one of the nation’s leading non-profit business groups of large, self-insured public and private employers serving as a catalyst for community initiatives to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of the healthcare delivery system. MBGH is an essential resource to support employers in effectively managing their health benefits through high-quality education, research, networking and benchmarking. MBGH is a founding member of the National Business Coalition on Health.

For further information about this release and MBGH, contact: Cary Conway, Media Consultant