The maternal mortality (MM) rate in the United States is relatively high compared to other developed countries. In addition, for every maternal death that occurs during labor and delivery, there may be approximately 70 near misses or cases of severe maternal morbidity (SMM), totaling approximately 50,000 cases.  This is an alarming trend considering that the U.S. has one of the most technologically advanced health care systems with the capacity to deliver high-quality maternity care. Furthermore, the ongoing lack of high quality, reliable data on maternal mortality rates, inhibits meaningful research, and policy to improve maternal health outcomes.

This study, conducted by AcademyHealth's Evidence-Informed State Health Policy Institute, examines innovative uses of data to understand and address maternal health, as well as the feasibility of data linkage as a solution. Specifically, the study will examine 1) the key components of State-based maternal health data infrastructure initiatives (e.g., data linkage initiatives) that have influenced improvements in maternal health outcomes; 2) existing use of state Medicaid data, vital records, and/or linkages with other data sources and electronic health records of import; and 3) the gaps in implementing such initiatives, and how addressing these gaps can build capacity for maternal health PCOR.