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Improving Birth Outcomes: The Centering Louisiana Project

December 2019

Evidence-based interventions in maternal health can improve birth outcomes. Results from a group prenatal care initiative in Louisiana serving women experiencing a variety of risk factors achieved low rates of preterm births and low birthweight babies, and participants were highly satisfied with their experience.

Historically, Louisiana’s birth outcomes have been among the worst in the United States, with the state having the third-highest rates for preterm births and low birthweight babies in 2012. Under the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation’s Strong Start Initiative for Mothers and Newborns, the Elevance Health Public Policy Institute convened a grant project to improve care delivery and birth outcomes for women and babies in Louisiana.

From February 2014 through December 2016, more than 960 low-income pregnant women received services through an evidence-based group prenatal care model with proven results in reducing preterm births and low birthweight babies. The intervention was implemented by seven participating provider sites across the state.


  • Evidence-based group prenatal care
  • Positive birth outcomes
  • Beneficiary satisfaction and quality
  • Risk factors and barriers to care

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