Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives

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Safety and Quality

Goal: To create a culture of continuous quality improvement and safety in Louisiana's birthing hospitals

In many hospitals, unnecessary inductions and cesarean sections occur before 39 weeks gestation and lead to increases in neonatal intensive care (NICU) admissions. These inductions not only lead to increased costs, but overwhelming evidence indicates they harm mothers and babies. NICU costs represent a large portion of hospital costs and many admissions or complications may be avoidable. Louisiana could be among the first states to have a statewide quality collaborative with the goal of implementing successful 39 week policies and reducing neonatal harm.  This quality improvement initiative puts Louisiana in a national leadership position at a time when multiple other organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the March of Dimes and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all prioritized this issue. NICU care is also a huge driver of Medicaid costs and NICU quality must be addressed. Systems are designed to produce the outcomes they achieve, and with Louisiana ranked 49th in the nation on neonatal quality metrics like infant mortality, the system must be changed if we are to expect better outcomes.


  • Improved maternity quality care and outcomes, including a dramatic reduction in non-medically indicated deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation.
  • Improved NICU quality care and outcomes and reduced neonatal harm.
  • Creation of a statewide set of perinatal quality measures