Thursday 9 May 2019

Celebrate Mothers Day by Advocating for Maternal Health

Mothers Day creates an opportunity each year to raise awareness about the barriers and solutions to maternal care. While we are celebrating our Moms and the women in our lives, we are also keenly aware of the sobering fact that the US has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. According to the CDC, in 2019 - American women are more than twice as likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than they were in 1987. This is unacceptable and change MUST happen.


Mom Congress (a coalition of nonprofit organizations) just spent three days bringing together moms and those who support them to talk with government leaders about what matters most in maternal and child health. During this time, Mom Congress partnered with members of Congress to present legislation meant to address the barriers that women face and help ensure high quality care for every woman, every time. This group of legislation known as the “Momnibus” includes the following:


H.R.1551 - Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) & Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) - Amends Title XI of the Social Security Act to improve the quality, health outcomes, and value of maternity care under the Medicaid and CHIP programs by developing maternity care quality measures and supporting maternity care quality collaboratives.

S. xxx “MOMMIES Act(Maximizing Outcomes for Moms Through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services Act), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) - pending re-introduction. Aims to improve maternal health outcomes by targeting care access, quality, cost, and experience. Among other provisions, this bill will extend Medicaid coverage to a year following childbirth; pilot maternity care homes, a model that provides coordinated, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate services and care; and assess and recommend strategies to expand Medicaid coverage of doula care.

H.R. xxx Maternity Providers for MOMS “Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, (D-CA) - pending introduction. Midwives provide evidence-based maternity care services and are essential to improving access to maternity care and reducing maternal mortality. This bill would authorize two federal funding streams to increase the number of midwives available to mothers in the U.S. 

S.116 - “MOMS Act” (Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards Act of 2019), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) - Implements standardized best practices to prevent and respond to maternal deaths and complications by providing states and hospitals with access to new resources, including “safety bundles” to address complications.

H.R.1897/S.916 - “MOMMA’s Act(Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness Act), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) - Provides assistance to states regarding best practices in maternal mortality identification and review, extends Medicaid coverage from 2 months to a year following childbirth, supports the expansion of “safety bundles” to improve maternity care; and establishes Centers of Excellence for implicit bias and cultural competency education.

S. xxx Maternal CARE Act“Maternal Care Acccess and Reducing Emergencies Act,” Sen. Kamala Harris, (D-CA) - pending re-introduction. Creates a grant program to address implicit bias among providers in clinical settings during their training and will establish a Medicaid Pregnancy Medical Home pilot aimed at improving maternal health outcomes and reducing disparities that disproportionately affect women of color.

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