Background The introduction of bundled payment for maternity care, aimed at improving the quality of maternity care, may affect pregnant women’s choice in providers of maternity care. This paper describes a Dutch study which examined pregnant women’s preferences when choosing a maternity care provider. The study focused on factors that enhance the quality of maternity care versus (restricted) provider choice. Methods A discrete choice experiment was conducted amongst 611 pregnant women living in the Netherlands using an online questionnaire. The data were analysed with Latent Class Analyses. The outcome measure consisted of stated preferences in the discrete choice experiment. Included factors were: information exchange by care providers through electronic medical records, information provided by midwife, information provided by friends, freedom to choose maternity care provider and travel distance. Results Four different preference structures were found. In two of those structures, respondents found aspects of the maternity care related to quality of care more important than being able to choose a provider (provider choice). In the two other preference structures, respondents found provider choice more important than aspects related to quality of maternity care. Conclusions In a country with presumed high-quality maternity care like the Netherlands, about half of pregnant women prefer being able to choose their maternity care provider over organisational factors that might imply better quality of care. A comparable amount of women find quality-related aspects most important when choosing a maternity care provider and are willing to accept limitations in their choice of provider. These insights are relevant for policy makers in order to be able to design a bundled payment model which justify the preferences of all pregnant women.
Institute for Medical Technology Assessment (iMTA)

Lambooij, M., Veldwijk, J., van Gils, P., Suijkerbuijk, A.W.M., & Struijs, J. (2020). Trading patients' choice in providers for quality of maternity care? A discrete choice experiment amongst pregnant women. PLoS ONE. Retrieved from