Perinatal Regionalization

New York State is committed to ensuring that a pregnant woman and her baby will have ready access to the services they need to improve the chances they will be healthy and that a health care team with the necessary knowledge, skills and technology, will be available to handle any problems they might have.

Perinatal regionalization ensures that there are hospitals that can provide a full range of services for pregnant women and their babies in a geographic region. This means parents-to-be can be sure that there are hospitals near where they live that can provide everything from a basic, uncomplicated delivery to the most sophisticated care for mothers and babies with the most complex, critical problems.

With perinatal regionalization, each hospital receives a designation indicating the level of care they can provide. As a result, they can focus on improving the skills needed for those services. Because the pregnant women and babies they see tend to be similar, they become even more expert in delivering the care needed. And, when a mother or baby has problems that require more expert care than the level of care they can provide they know they can turn to other hospitals, including their Regional Perinatal Center (RPC) in the region for specialized consultation on complicated cases, or to assume care for patients needing more highly specialized care.

New York State's system of regionalized perinatal services includes four levels of perinatal care provided by the hospitals within a region (called affiliate hospitals) and led by a Regional Perinatal Center (RPC), which provides the most sophisticated care and provides education, advice and support to their affiliate hospitals.

2017-2018 NYS Perinatal Regionalization Redesignation

Due to changes in standards of care, medical technology, hospital mergers and the health care system in general, the NYS DOH is working with IPRO in a multi-year process to review and update the standards for perinatal hospital level requirements, conduct site visits, assign new designations, and development of performance measures for perinatal hospitals and birthing centers. This includes the development of an Expert Panel of clinicians, hospital associations and other partners and stakeholders to provide input into updated standards of perinatal care. For the first time, these standards will also include birthing centers and midwifery-led birthing centers to ensure women and babies in New York State have access to a full continuum of quality perinatal care.