CenteringPregnancy Model May Yield Higher Patient Satisfaction Ratings 

June 22, 2020

Pregnant women who received group prenatal care in military treatment facilities through a model known as CenteringPregnancyreported higher patient satisfaction ratings related to access to care than women who received traditional individual prenatal care in the same facilities, according to a recent study by researchers at Altarum and the Defense Health Agency. The mixed-methods research suggests the CenteringPregnancy model of care may help improve access to care among expectant mothers. 

Prenatal care in the United States typically consists of one-on-one encounters between an individual and their provider. An alternative to traditional prenatal care is CenteringPregnancy (Centering). Centering focuses on grouping patients by gestational age for group care. Some benefits of Centering include improved mental health, prenatal knowledge, level of involvement in their own care, adherence to attending their postpartum visit, as well as meeting social support needs and overall care satisfaction. 

The researchers analyzed data from the former TRICARE Outpatient Satisfaction Survey (TROSS) supplemented with administrative data from the Comprehensive Ambulatory/Professional Encounter Record (CAPER) data set.  

A key finding from the study is that women participating in the Centering model had twice the number of higher patient experience scores on accessing care in a timely manner compared to women in individual care at the same clinic. This is particularly important, as military care settings have had historically low ratings on access to care compared to other quality-of-care measures. 

Below are additional highlights from the study: 

  • Ratings for the Access to Care Composite were significantly higher for women in Centering than those in individual care. Women in Centering reported a 51 percent satisfaction rating compared to 34 percent for those in individual care. 
  • Ratings for the Communication with Provider and the Office Staff Composites showed similar satisfaction ratings for women in Centering programs and women in individual care. 
  • Overall Satisfaction with Healthcare, Rating of Provider, and Rating of Health Care overall showed differences between women in Centering programs and women in individual care, but the differences were not statistically significant. 

CenteringPregnancy Model May Yield Higher Patient Satisfaction Ratings

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The military population faces unique stressors that can contribute to pregnancy complications, from long deployments away from loved ones and frequent movesAnd since military treatment facilities allow for a more tailored experience for this population, they are well positioned to try alternative models of care such as CenteringPregnancy. 

This study was conducted by Tara Trudnak Fowler, PhD, of Altarum; Kimberley Marshall Aiyelawo, PhD, of the Defense Health Agency; Chantell Frazier, PhD, of Altarum; Craig Holden, PhD, of Altarum; and Joseph Dorris, MS, of Altarum. 


Altarum is a nonprofit organization that works with federal and state agencies and foundations to design and implement solutions to improve the health of individuals with fewer financial resources and populations disenfranchised by the health care system. We achieve measurable results by combining our expertise in public health and health care delivery with technology, workforce training and continuing education, applied research, and technical assistance. Our innovative solutions lead to better health for beneficiaries and better value for payers.