Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative - "Race to the Date"



Race to the Date is a South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) initiative through our Birth Outcomes Initiative project to incentivize hospitals to become “Baby-Friendly” by promoting breast milk as the standard for infant feeding.  The goal of the project is to increase the number of Baby-Friendly hospitals in South Carolina.  All infants in the facility should be considered to be breastfeeding infants unless, after giving birth and being offered help to breastfeed, the mother has specifically stated that she has no plans to breastfeed. 

SCDHHS has created an incentive pool of $1,000,000 with a maximum payout of $200,000 to individual hospitals that submit a letter of intent to SCDHHS by January 10, 2013, andachieve a Baby-Friendly Hospital designation through Baby-Friendly USA by September 30, 2013.  Baby-Friendly USA is the accrediting body for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States.  Additional information can be found at  regarding how to become a designated hospital.

Incentive payments will be available to qualified hospitals with the opportunity for incremental increases up to $200,000 depending upon the number of hospitals that achieve the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation by September 30, 2013.

This initiative will address the goal to improve hospital practices to support breastfeeding by helping hospitals move toward Baby-Friendly status.  The core of the Baby-Friendly Initiative is the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a bundle of science-based practices established by the World Health Organization and UNICEF as global criteria to improve breastfeeding rates.  These criteria are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SCDHHS has established January 10, 2013 as a target date for receipt of Letter of Intent to be eligible for this incentive.  Documentation postmarked or received through e-mail address at ManagedCare@SCDHHS.GOV. after January 10, 2013 will not be considered.

Official documentation indicating achievement of Baby-Friendly Hospital designation should be forwarded to:

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Attn: Hospital Services

Post Office Box 8206

Columbia, South Carolina 29202


Upon validation of documentation no later than October 15, 2013, hospitals will receive their incentive payment by November 15, 2013.  

Please refer any questions or concerns regarding this bulletin to the Provider Service Center at 1-888-289-0709.  Thank you for your continued support of the South Carolina Medicaid program.

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