The role of insurers in maternity safety

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2015 Nov;29(8):1126-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


Adverse events in maternity care are frequently avoidable and litigation costs for maternity care are rising for many health services across the world. Whilst families for whom this injury was preventable suffer from this tragedy, there is an enormous loss of resource to healthcare in general. It is axiomatic that preventing avoidable harm is better for women, their families and society in general, and downstream this improvement should also reduce both litigation and costs. However, there are few initiatives that have reduced adverse clinical events in maternity services and fewer still that have demonstrated decreases in litigation costs. Where these data do exist, the involvement and engagement of insurers seem to have been crucial, but often unrecognized. Insurers could play a much broader role in preventing harm, and this article explores this potential.

Keywords: adverse events; insurance; intrapartum care; litigation; obstetrics; training.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Claims, Healthcare
  • Delivery, Obstetric / adverse effects*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / education
  • Delivery, Obstetric / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics*
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / therapy*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality Improvement
  • Reimbursement, Incentive
  • Risk Management