Significant racial/ethnic disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality exist in the United States. Black women are 3–4 times more likely to die a pregnancy-related death as compared with white women. Growing research suggests that hospital quality may be a critical lever for improving outcomes and narrowing disparities. This overview reviews the evidence demonstrating that hospital quality is related to maternal mortality and morbidity, discusses the pathways through which these associations between quality and severe maternal morbidity generate disparities, and concludes with a discussion of possible levers for action to reduce disparities by improving hospital quality.
- Severe maternal morbidity