Levels of Care Assessment Tool (LOCATe)

Montana implemented version 9.2 of the LOCATe assessment. The data collection occurred from July 23, 2021, to October 31, 2021. Of the 26 birthing facilities in the state, 25 (96%) participated. LOCATe contributes to Montana’s efforts to improve maternal and neonatal health in communities large and small through better assessment of the statewide system of care.

Montana made the decision to assess levels of maternal and neonatal care in hospitals as part of the broader Montana Obstetrics and Maternal Support (MOMS) program needs assessment. Stakeholders should interpret the information provided in this report as a preliminary environmental scan of the status of risk-appropriate care in Montana. LOCATe cannot be operationalized as a formal designation of a hospital’s level of maternal or neonatal care for use in regulatory or reimbursement policy. While the CDC has validated the truncated LOCATe tool against more intensive designating processes, this assessment is based on self-reported information.

The CDC designed LOCATe for use by public health decision-makers. The results provide a starting point for discussion among stakeholders on improving the health outcomes of birthing people and infants. As of January 2022, 24 states (including Montana), 1 territory, 1 perinatal region, and 1 large multi-state health system have implemented LOCATe.

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