Percentage of patients, regardless of age, who gave birth during a 12-month period who were seen for postpartum care before or at 12 weeks of giving birth and received the following at a postpartum visit: breast-feeding evaluation and education, postpartum depression screening, postpartum glucose screening for gestational diabetes patients, family and contraceptive planning counseling, tobacco use screening and cessation education, healthy lifestyle behavioral advice, and an immunization review and update
This measure is to be submitted a minimum of once per performance period for all patients seen for postpartum care before or at 12 weeks of giving birth 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 and were seen for postpartum care at a visit before or at 12 weeks of giving birth
Denominator Criteria (Eligible Cases):
All patients, regardless of age
Patient procedure during performance period (CPT): 59400, 59410, 59430, 59510, 59515, 59610, 59614, 59618, 59622
Telehealth Modifier: GQ, GT, 95, POS 02
Postpartum care visit before or at 12 weeks of giving birth
Patients receiving the following at a postpartum visit:
- Breast-feeding evaluation and education, including patient-reported breast-feeding
- Postpartum depression screening
- Postpartum glucose screening for gestational diabetes patients
- Family and contraceptive planning counseling
- Tobacco use screening and cessation education
- Healthy lifestyle behavioral advice
- Immunization review and update
Breast-Feeding Evaluation and Education – Patients who were evaluated for and educated about breastfeeding before or at 12 weeks postpartum.
Postpartum Depression Screening – Patients who were screened for postpartum depression before or at 12 weeks postpartum. Questions may be asked either directly by a health care provider or in the form of selfcompleted paper- or computer-administered questionnaires, and results should be documented in the medical record. Depression screening should include a self-reported validated depression screening tool (e.g., PHQ-2, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory for Primary Care, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)).
Postpartum Glucose Screening for Gestational Diabetes – Patients who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy and were screened with a glucose screen before or at 12 weeks postpartum.
Family and Contraceptive Planning Counseling – Patients who were provided family and contraceptive planning counseling (including contraception, if necessary) before or at 12 weeks postpartum.
Tobacco Use Screening and Cessation Education – Patients who were screened for tobacco use before or at 12 weeks postpartum. Patients who used any type of tobacco who were given brief counseling (3 minutes or less) and/or pharmacotherapy.
Healthy Lifestyle Behavioral Advice – Clinicians should use discretion to determine which patients they deem appropriate for healthy lifestyle counseling. Clinicians may take into account the number of weeks that have passed since childbirth, whether the mother is breast-feeding, the degree to which the mother’s body mass index (BMI) exceeds the normal range, whether postpartum depression is present, and the mother’s own feelings and perceptions of her body weight. Counseling should include suggestions around healthy eating and staying active. If deemed necessary by the clinician, the conversation about healthy lifestyle choices could include a follow-up plan, including a referral to a specialist such as a registered dietitian nutritionist, primary care provider, or mental health professional for lifestyle/behavioral therapy, pharmacological interventions, dietary supplements, exercise counseling or nutrition counseling.
Immunization Review and Update – Patients whose immunization records were reviewed and who were provided with indicated immunizations, including completing series initiated antepartum or postpartum, at or before 12 weeks postpartum.
To satisfactorily meet the numerator ALL components (breast-feeding evaluation and education, postpartum depression screening, postpartum glucose screening for patients with gestational diabetes, family and contraceptive planning counseling, tobacco use screening and cessation education, healthy lifestyle behavioral advice, and immunization review and update) must be performed according to the definitions provided above.
Performance Met: Postpartum screenings, evaluations, and education performed (G9357)
Performance Not Met: Postpartum screenings, evaluations and education not performed (G9358)
Managing and ensuring concrete postpartum follow-up after delivery is a critical challenge to the health care system impacting the quality of care mothers receive. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) sees the weeks following birth as a critical period for a woman and her child that sets the stage for long-term health and well-being. As such, this “fourth trimester” should include a comprehensive postpartum visit with a full assessment of physical, social, and psychological well-being.
Postpartum follow-up for depression screening, breast-feeding evaluation and education, family and contraceptive planning counseling, glucose screening for gestational diabetes, tobacco use screening and cessation education, healthy lifestyle behavioral advice, and immunization review and update are important risk factors to evaluate after childbirth. Maternal depression is one of the most common perinatal complications; however, the disorder remains under recognized, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. The various maternal depression disorders are defined by the severity of the depression and the timing and length of the episode. Studies report that 3 to 25 percent of womenexperience major depression during the year following childbirth.
Establishing the diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus offers an opportunity not only to improve pregnancy outcomes, but also to decrease risk factors associated with the subsequent development of type 2 diabetes. The ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice recommends that all women with gestational diabetes mellitus be screened at 6–12 weeks postpartum and managed appropriately.
Tobacco and nicotine use is still a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in women and men. Women who stop using tobacco and nicotine receive an immediate health and financial benefit.
ACOG acknowledges that unintended pregnancies are common and that pregnancy spacing is important for healthy families. In addition, the greatest risk of low birth weight and preterm birth occurs when the interconception interval is less than 6 months. The ACOG sees the weeks following birth as a critical period for a woman and her child that set the stage for long-term health and well-being.
The ACOG 2018 Postpartum Toolkit states that immunization in the postpartum period is a simple and effective way to protect the woman and her child from certain infections, particularly when the woman was not immunized during pregnancy. Although obstetrician–gynecologists encourage women of childbearing age to be current with their immunizations before the peripartum period, postpartum maternal immunization can prevent acute maternal infection and potential spread of illness from the woman to her newborn. Infants of breast-feeding women acquire maternal antibodies through breast milk.
This measure is a measure of the adequacy of the care provided for those that come for postpartum care, as patients who do not have postpartum visits are excluded from this measure.
Although certain postpartum conditions, such as depression, remain an underrecognized and undertreated condition for all low-income women, this is especially the case for those from racial and ethnic minority groups. A retrospective study of New Jersey’s Medicaid program found that Black and Latina women had particularly low treatment initiation rates for postpartum depression (Kozhimannil et al. 2011). Postpartum care disparities similarly existed for general postpartum care, postpartum glucose screening, and family and contraceptive planning counseling among racial and ethnic minority groups (Howell et al. 2017; Mathieu et al. 2014). Access to care barriers, health literacy variations, and care coordination challenges may also play a role in postpartum care disparities (Parekh et al. 2017). Potential solutions to improve postpartum testing rates included proactively contacting patients, establishing educational programs, and distributing mailings (Carson et al. 2013). These studies suggest that successful implementation of this measure’s intent may have positive downstream impacts on disparities in postpartum care and maternal and children’s outcomes overall.
Clinical Recommendation Statements
The following evidence statements are quoted from the referenced clinical guidelines.
ACOG Committee Opinion No. 736: Optimizing Postpartum Care (2018):
The comprehensive postpartum visit should include a full assessment of physical, social, and psychological well-being, including the following domains:
- Mood and emotional well-being
- Infant care and feeding
- Sexuality, contraception, and birth spacing
- Sleep and fatigue
- Physical recovery from birth
- Chronic disease management
- Health maintenance
Breast-Feeding Evaluation and Education
The USPSTF recommends interventions during pregnancy and after birth to promote and support breast-feeding.
This recommendation applies to pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. In rare circumstances involving health issues in mothers or infants, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or galactosemia, breastfeeding may be contraindicated, and interventions to promote breast-feeding may not be appropriate.
Interventions to promote and support breast-feeding may also involve a woman's partner, other family members, and friends.
Postpartum Depression Screening
The VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Pregnancy Version 3.0 (2018) and ACOG Committee Opinion No. 757: Screening for Perinatal Depression (2018) state that a screening for postpartum depression should be included in the postpartum visit. Both resources reference the 10-question Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), which is a valuable and efficient way of identifying patients at risk for “perinatal” depression. The EPDS is easy to administer and has proven to be an effective screening tool. Mothers who score above 13 are likely to be suffering from a depressive illness of varying severity. The EPDS score should not override clinical judgment. A careful clinical assessment should be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. The scale indicates how the mother has felt during the previous week. In doubtful cases it may be useful to repeat the tool after 2 weeks.
Postpartum Glucose Screening for Gestational Diabetes Patients
The ACOG Tool for Postpartum Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) Follow-up states that up to one-third of women who experienced GDM will have impaired glucose metabolism postpartum and 15% to 50% of women will develop type 2 diabetes within the decades following the affected pregnancy. Postpartum follow-up with treatment has been proven to postpone or prevent this occurrence. The VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Pregnancy Version 3.0 (2018) concurs that glucose testing should be included in the postpartum visit for patients who had pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes. The ACOG Committee Opinion No. 736: Optimizing Postpartum Care (2018) recommends either a 75g, 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test, or a fasting plasma glucose test. Refer to the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Diabetes Mellitus in Primary Care (2017) for more information regarding glucose screening techniques.
Family and Contraceptive Planning Counseling
The ACOG Committee Opinion No. 666: Optimizing Postpartum Care (2016) states that the optimal interval between delivery and subsequent pregnancy is 18 months to 5 years. The VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Pregnancy Version 3.0 (2018) states that family planning and contraception should be discussed at the postpartum visit.
Further, the ACOG Committee Opinion No. 736: Optimizing Postpartum Care (2018) states that a woman’s future pregnancy intentions provide a context for shared decision making regarding contraceptive options. Shared decision making brings two experts to the table: the patient and the health care provider. The health care provider is an expert in the clinical evidence, and the patient is an expert in her experiences and values. As affirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), when making choices regarding the timing of the next pregnancy, “Individuals and couples should consider health risks and benefits along with other circumstances such as their age, fecundity, fertility aspirations, access to health services, child-rearing support, social and economic circumstances, and personal preferences.” Given the complex history of sterilization abuse and fertility control among marginalized women, care should be taken to ensure that every woman is provided information on the full range of contraceptive options so that she can select the method best suited to her needs.
Tobacco Screening and Cessation Education
The ACOG Committee Opinion No. 736: Optimizing Postpartum Care (2018) recommends that one component of postpartum care be assessing mood and emotional well-being, which includes screening for tobacco use and counseling regarding relapse risk in the postpartum period. An ACOG Work Group created a Tobacco and Nicotine Cessation Toolkit to support clinicians in discussing tobacco and smoking cessation with patients.
Healthy Lifestyle Behavioral Advice
The ACOG 2018 Postpartum Toolkit states that approximately 65% of reproductive-aged women are overweight or obese at the time of pregnancy and are at risk of postpartum weight retention and chronic obesity.
Risk factors for being overweight or obese include a sedentary lifestyle, high caloric dietary intake, family history, genetics, and individual metabolism. Regular physical activity during an uncomplicated pregnancy and the postpartum period can improve cardiorespiratory fitness and reduce the risk and downstream health consequences (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) of being overweight or obese. According to ACOG, postpartum women should follow the national guidelines for physical activity, which is 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Recommendations include a target of 20–30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. In its Postpartum Toolkit: Achieving a Healthy Weight in the Postpartum Patient, ACOG identifies that providing lifestyle recommendations to promote maternal health for long-term reduction in the risk of chronic obesity and its downstream sequelae of diabetes and cardiovascular disease is a key objective of the postpartum visit. Such recommendations will also result in improved health in the interpregnancy period, if further childbearing is desired.
Per ACOG Committee Opinion No. 804: Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period (2020), the postpartum period is an opportune time for obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers to recommend and reinforce a healthy lifestyle. Resuming exercise or incorporating new exercise routines after delivery is important in supporting lifelong healthy habits. Exercise routines may be resumed gradually after pregnancy as soon as medically safe, depending on the mode of delivery (vaginal or cesarean birth) and the presence or absence of medical or surgical complications. Some women are capable of resuming physical activities within days of delivery. Pelvic floor exercises can be initiated in the immediate postpartum period. Abdominal strengthening exercises, including abdominal crunch exercises and the drawing-in exercise, a maneuver that increases abdominal pressure by pulling in the abdominal wall muscles, have been shown to decrease the incidence of diastasis recti abdominus and decrease the inter-rectus distance in women who gave birth vaginally or by cesarean birth.
Immunization Review and Update
The ACOG Committee Opinion No. 736: Optimizing Postpartum Care (2018) states that one component of postpartum care includes reviewing vaccination history and providing indicated immunizations, including completing series initiated antepartum or postpartum. The VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Pregnancy Version 3.0 (2018) states that the postpartum visit should include a review of current vaccination status in accordance with CDC Pregnancy and Maternal Vacciation guidance, including a review of immunization status against pertussis, influenza, varicella, and rubella. The ACOG Committee Opinion No. 732: Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy (2018) states that the influenza vaccine is an essential element of pre-pregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum care since influenza can result in serious illness, and has a higher chance of progressing to pneumonia when it occurs during the antepartum or postpartum period. Likewise, the ACOG Committee Opinion No. 753: Assessment and Treatment of Pregnant Women With Suspected or Confirmed Influenza (2018) notes that postpartum women are at high risk of serious complications of seasonal and pandemic influenza infection.