AHA today voiced support for the Maternal Health Accountability Act (S. 1112), as amended and passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in July, and the discussion draft version of the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2018 (H.R. 1318). The legislation would provide federal funding for states to develop maternal mortality review committees to better understand maternal complications and identify solutions.
 
“While some states and cities already have established MMRCs, having participation by all states will allow for the collection of additional data that could result in greater understanding of the causes of maternal mortality and ways to improve treatment,” AHA said in letters of support to Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo.
 
The number of pregnancy-related deaths reported to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System increased from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 18.0 in 2014. “The causes for the increase in maternal mortality are complex, including a lack of consistent access to prenatal care and persistent inequities in care,” the letter notes. “As hospitals take on a greater role in improving health outcomes across the continuum of care, it is important to redouble our efforts and commit to continuing improvements in maternal safety, while also enhancing data collection and analysis to support such efforts.”

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