The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health today held a hearing to discuss four bills intended to improve maternal health outcomes by advancing prevention efforts and access to care. 

In a statement submitted for the record, AHA voiced support for provisions in the bills that, among other things, would: extend postpartum coverage for women enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for up to one year; improve data collection and reporting and dissemination of best practices; implement maternity/child health quality measures for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; establish grant programs to support implicit bias training for health care professionals; and establish maternal home demonstration programs. 

Maternal health is a high priority for the AHA. Through the Better Health for Mothers and Babies Initiative, the AHA is pursuing the goal of eliminating maternal mortality and reducing severe morbidity.

Testifying at the hearing, David Nelson, M.D., chief of obstetrics for Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, said access to prenatal care and relevant quality data to ensure well-informed decisions were important to advancing maternal health and preventing mortality. Elizabeth Howell, M.D., director of the Blavatnik Family Women's Health Research Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said that efforts to address racial and ethnic disparities and establish a universally high standard of care could bring severe maternal morbidity and deaths down dramatically.

Also testifying at the hearing were the mother of a woman, Shalon Irving, who died after childbirth, and representatives from the American Medical Association and Kaiser Family Foundation.

Related News Articles

The AHA recently participated in a meeting of an American Academy of Family Physicians task force that will recommend evidence-based strategies to improve…
Women in rural areas face unique maternal health care challenges, including hospital closures or lack of obstetric services. In this AHA Stat Blog, Jay Bhatt,…
The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed four bills aimed at lowering prescription drug costs and increasing competition.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today voted 20-3 to pass the Lower Health Care Costs Act (S.1895) – bipartisan legislation…
The House Ways and Means Committee today passed the Opioid Workforce Act (H.R. 3414), AHA-supported legislation that would add 1,000 Medicare-funded training…
In a letter today to leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the AHA and five other national hospital groups said they agree…