Although a weekly injection of 17-hydroxyprogestone caproate is recommended for preventing recurrent preterm birth, clinical experience in North Carolina suggested that many eligible patients were not receiving the intervention.Objective:
Our study sought to assess how well practices delivering at 2 major hospitals were doing in providing access to 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate treatment for eligible patients.Study Design:
This retrospective cohort analysis studied all deliveries occurring between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2013, at 2 large hospitals in North Carolina. Women were included if they had a singleton pregnancy and history of a prior spontaneous preterm birth. We extracted demographic, payer, and medical information on each pregnancy, including whether women had been offered, accepted, and received 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate. Our outcome of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate coverage was defined as documentation of ≥1 injection of the drug.Results:
Over the 2-year study period, 1216 women with history of a prior preterm birth delivered at the 2 study hospitals, of which 627 were eligible for 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate eligible after medical record review. Only 296 of the 627 eligible women (47%; 95% confidence interval, 43–51%) received ≥1 dose of the drug. In multivariable analysis, hospital of delivery, later presentation for prenatal care, fewer prenatal visits, later gestation of prior preterm birth, and having had a term delivery immediately before the index pregnancy were all associated with failed coverage. Among those women who were “covered,” the median number of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate injections was 9 (interquartile range, 4–15), with 84 of 296 charts (28%) not having complete information on the number of doses.Conclusion:
Even under our liberal definition of coverage, less than half of eligible women received 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate in this sample. Low overall use suggests that there is opportunity for improvement. Quality improvement strategies, including population-based measurement of 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate coverage, are needed to fully implement this evidence-based intervention to decrease preterm birth.