Boston-based physician accepts grant intended to refine obstetric quality metrics


Credit: SMFM

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) today presented the third annual SMFM-AMAG Pharmaceuticals Health Policy Award to Mark Clapp, MD, MPH, for his research program entitled, "Unanticipated Term NICU Admission Rate: A Marker of Obstetric Care Quality?" Dr. Clapp is a second-year maternal-fetal medicine fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Policymakers and payors have become increasingly focused on the delivery of high-quality, cost conscious health care. However, defining and quantifying obstetric quality is challenging as outcomes for two patients – the woman and the neonate – must be balanced. Even in the most widely accepted quality metrics in obstetrics today, no thresholds have been proven to provide the optimal balance between maternal and neonatal risks and benefits.

In an effort to explore quality metrics that balance maternal and neonatal outcomes, Dr. Clapp and a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital will use data from the Consortium for Safe Labor trial, maternal-neonatal linked state discharge records, and national birth certificate data to better understand neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions among term, normally grown, non-anomalous fetuses (unanticipated admissions). The team hopes to better understand the factors affecting unanticipated NICU admissions, the effect of obstetric practices on unexpected admissions, and the capacity of unexpected admissions to reflect obstetric quality.

"Obstetric quality metrics should ultimately reflect care that optimizes the health of both women and their babies," said the Chair of SMFM's Health Policy and Advocacy Committee, George Saade, MD. "SMFM is grateful for AMAG Pharmaceutical's support of this award and excited to see how Dr. Clapp's research might impact the way obstetric care quality is measured."

Dr. Mark Clapp has served in a volunteer capacity for SMFM and is a past member of the Society's Health Policy and Advocacy Committee. He was recently recognized with an award at SMFM's 38th Annual Meeting for his work on the association between hospital acuity and severe maternal morbidity.


About SMFM

The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (est. 1977) is a non-profit membership organization representing the interests of obstetricians/gynecologists who have additional formal education in maternal-fetal medicine. The Society is devoted to reducing high-risk pregnancy complications by providing continuing education to its more than 2,000 members on the latest pregnancy assessment and treatment methods. It also serves as an advocate for improving public policy and expanding research funding and opportunities for maternal-fetal medicine. SMFM hosts an annual scientific meeting in which new ideas and research in the area of maternal-fetal medicine are unveiled and discussed. For more information, visit

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