The South Carolina CenteringPregnancy Expansion Project (SCCPEP) initiative aims to decrease rates of preterm birth and decrease racial disparities in birth outcomes in the state by increasing access to CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SC DHHS) and the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes have provided support for SCCPEP since 2013.
CenteringPregnancy is an evidence-based model of group prenatal care that combines individual medical examinations with group discussion, interactive education, and social support for groups of six to 12 pregnant women. Groups are facilitated by the health care provider. Since inception, SCCPEP has provided financial support and technical assistance to 24 medical practices to implement the group prenatal care model.
The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) is conducting an ongoing outcomes evaluation, comparing birth outcomes for women participating in CenteringPregnancy to women receiving traditional, individual prenatal care. Vital statistics data, collected by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, are used to assess six outcomes, including gestational diabetes, cesarean section delivery, preterm birth, low birthweight, neonatal intensive care admissions, and breastfeeding. In addition to interim reports to Greenville Health System, the coordinator of the training and technical assistance, and SC DHHS, GHPC prepares semi-annual outcome reports for each practice.
The evaluation also estimates cost savings to the South Carolina Medicaid program from use of the CenteringPregnancy model. The results are being used to guide decision making about continued support for group prenatal care for women served by the South Carolina Medicaid program, and may be applicable to informing model expansion for other similar populations.