Percentage of patients, regardless of age, who gave birth during a 12-month period, delivered a live singleton at < 39 weeks of gestation, and had elective deliveries (without medical indication) by cesarean birth or induction of labor.
This measure is to be submitted each time a procedure is performed for patients undergoing delivery by cesarean birth or induction of labor at less than 39 weeks of gestation during the performance period. This measure may be submitted by Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who perform the quality actions described in the measure based on the services provided and the measure-specific denominator coding.
Measure Submission Type:
Measure data may be submitted by individual MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, or third-party intermediaries. The listed denominator criteria are used to identify the intended patient population. The numerator options included in this specification are used to submit the quality actions as allowed by the measure. The quality data codes listed do not need to be submitted by MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, or third-party intermediaries that utilize this modality for submissions; however, these codes may be submitted for those third-party intermediaries that utilize Medicare Part B claims data. For more information regarding Application Programming Interface (API), please refer to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website.
All patients, regardless of age, who gave birth during a 12-month period delivering a live singleton at < 39 weeks of gestation
Denominator Criteria (Eligible Cases):
All patients, regardless of age
Single live birth during the performance period (ICD-10-CM): Z37.0
Patient procedure during performance period (CPT): 59400, 59409, 59410, 59510, 59514, 59515, 59610, 59612, 59614, 59618, 59620, 59622
Telehealth Modifier: GQ, GT, 95, POS 02
Delivery at < 39 weeks of gestation
Patients who had elective deliveries (without medical indication) by cesarean birth or induction of labor
INVERSE MEASURE – A lower calculated performance rate for this measure indicates better clinical care or control. The “Performance Not Met” numerator option for this measure is the representation of the better clinical quality or control. Submitting that numerator option will produce a performance rate that trends closer to 0%, as quality increases. For inverse measures, a rate of 100% means all of the denominator eligible patients did not receive the appropriate care.
Performance Met: Elective delivery (without medical indication) by cesarean birth or induction of labor performed (<39 weeks of gestation) (G9356)
Denominator Exception: Medical indication for delivery by cesarean birth or induction of labor (<39 weeks of gestation) [Documentation of reason(s) for elective delivery (e.g., hemorrhage and placental complications, hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia, rupture of membranes (premature or prolonged), maternal conditions complicating pregnancy/delivery, fetal conditions complicating pregnancy/delivery, late pregnancy, prior uterine surgery, or participation in clinical trial)] (G9361)
Performance Not Met: Elective delivery (without medical indication) by cesarean birth or induction of labor not performed (<39 weeks of gestation) (G9355)
Elective delivery or early induction often leads to prematurity, increased costs, and an increased incidence of cesarean birth. Studies have determined that elective delivery prior to the gestational age of 39 weeks may result in significant short-term neonatal morbidity (neonatal intensive care unit admission rates of 13%–21%). Recent research shows that infants born prior to 39 weeks face a higher risk of breathing disorders and other problems than those who remain in the uterus longer (Clark et al. 2009).
Substantial disparities exist in the prevalence of preterm birth, fetal demise, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, and obstetric care utilization (Bryant et al. 2010). As noted by Kozhimannil et al., “differences in cesarean use or labor induction, including differences not driven my medical need, may contribute to racial disparities in neonatal and maternal outcomes” (2018). A retrospective study of vital statistics found that disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight were the second-leading cause of fetal demise and that Black, American Indian, and Puerto Rican women experience the highest risk of unfavorable birth outcomes (MacDorman 2011). Black-White differences in early elective delivery have been recognized, with Black women having 30 percent higher odds of early elective cesarean compared to non-Hispanic White women (Kozhimannil et al. 2018). At least one study found that policy change effectively eliminating early delivery eliminated Black-White differences in early elective cesarean (Kozhimannil et al. 2018), suggesting that successful implementation of this measure’s intent may have positive downstream impacts on disparities in maternal and fetal outcomes overall.
Clinical Recommendation Statements
The below evidence statements are quoted from the following clinical practice bulletins: the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) “Induction of Labor” (issued in August 2009 and reaffirmed in 2016); the ACOG Medically Indicated Late-Preterm and Early-Term Deliveries Committee Opinion (2019); and the ACOG Avoidance of Nonmedically Indicated Early-Term Deliveries and Associated Neonatal Morbidities Committee Opinion (2019).
Decisions regarding maternal delivery are complex and must take into account maternal and newborn risks, practice environment, and patient preferences. The goal of induction of labor is to achieve vaginal delivery by stimulating uterine contractions before the spontaneous onset of labor. Generally, induction of labor has merit as a therapeutic option when the benefits of expeditious delivery outweigh the risks of continuing the pregnancy. Labor may also be induced for logistic reasons, e.g., rapid labor, distance, or psychosocial reasons.
However, indications for induction of labor are not absolute but should take into account maternal and fetal conditions, gestational age, cervical status, and other factors. ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine have long discouraged nonindicated delivery before 39 weeks of gestation because the neonatal risks of late pre-term (34 0/7–36 6/7 weeks of gestation) and early term (37 0/7–38 6/7 weeks of gestation) births are well-established, and the potential neonatal complications associated with elective delivery at less than 39 0/7 weeks are well described. Based on these and other data, timing of elective delivery at 39 weeks of gestation or later is recommended. However, deferring delivery to 39 weeks of gestation is not recommended if there is a medical or obstetric indication for early delivery.
In some cases, health providers will need to weigh competing risks and benefits for the woman and her fetus. The following are examples of maternal or fetal conditions that may be indications for elective delivery by cesarean birth, or early induction of labor:
- Placenta previa*
- Suspected accreta, increta, or percreta*
- Vasa previa*
- Prior classical cesarean*
- Prior myomectomy requiring cesarean delivery*
- Previous uterine rupture*
- Growth restriction
- Multiple gestations—uncomplicated
- Multiple gestations—complicated
- Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
- Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy
- PROM (prelabor rupture of membranes)
* These conditions may be indications for early delivery by cesarean birth; they are not indications for early induction of labor.