The House Energy and Commerce Committee this week approved two AHA-supported bills to strengthen maternal care and access to care, including in rural areas.
 
The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 4995) would help hospitals and health systems improve maternal health by authorizing grants to improve care in rural areas and funding to promote best practices and educate health care professionals on implicit bias, AHA noted in a letter of support for the bill. 
 
The Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services Act (H.R. 4996) would give states the option to extend Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage for pregnant and postpartum women from the current 60 days to one year after birth, with a 5% increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage for the first year a state opts to extend the coverage. It also would require the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission to issue a report on access to doula care in Medicaid.
 
“We appreciate this first step in recognizing the important link between health care coverage and improving maternal health and look forward to further legislative efforts in this area,” AHA wrote, calling maternal health “a top priority” for the association and its members.
 
The committee also approved an amendment to H.R. 4995 to improve Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data collection on race, ethnicity and other demographic information; and an amendment to H.R. 4996 to require a MACPAC report on bundled payments for pregnancy-related care.

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