CMS releases Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Strategy II report

March 15, 2016

CMS announced findings from their second annual evaluation report for the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Strategy II (Strong Start) Initiative. They report that:

  • Enrollment increased in the second year of program operations, with a total of 23,000 women enrolled from March 2013 to the end of the first calendar quarter of 2015;
  • Enrollment is expected to continue to grow to more than 40,000 participants by the program’s end in February 2017;
  • Ninety percent of participants stated they were either very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their prenatal care;
  • Participants have lower rates of cesarean section than national averages, though there is wide variation among and within models;
  • Participants have higher rates of breastfeeding than national averages among similar populations;
  • Overall preterm birth rates were similar to national averages despite the high-risk population served;
  • Preterm birth rates were lower than national averages within racial-ethnic groups (Black , White, Hispanic); and
  • Vaginal birth after cesarean rates were nearly twice the national average.