ACOG published Obstetric Care Consensus No. 2 Levels of Maternal Care in the February 2015 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Abstract: In the 1970s, studies demonstrated that timely access to risk-appropriate neonatal and obstetric care could reduce perinatal mortality. Since the publication of the Toward Improving the Outcome of Pregnancy report, more than three decades ago, the conceptual framework of regionalization of care of the woman and the newborn has been gradually separated with recent focus almost entirely on the newborn. In this current document, maternal care refers to all aspects of antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum care of the pregnant woman. The proposed classification system for levels of maternal care pertains to birth centers, basic care (level I), specialty care (level II), subspecialty care (level III), and regional perinatal health care centers (level IV). The goal of regionalized maternal care is for pregnant women at high risk to receive care in facilities that are prepared to provide the required level of specialized care, thereby reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States.