As part of its recognition of Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17), the Department of Health and Human Services through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today approved a Section 1115 waiver for Illinois to be the first state to extend full Medicaid coverage to pregnant women for up to one year after delivery.

Starting April 1, 2022, under the American Rescue Plan Act passed last month, states also will have the option to extend Medicaid coverage to one year postpartum through a state plan amendment. A new data brief shows that more than half of pregnant women in Medicaid experienced a coverage gap in the first 6 months post-partum and disruptions in Medicaid coverage often lead to periods of uninsurance, delayed care and less preventive care.

Health care and other organizations can also apply through June 4 for up to $1 million a year for four years to test a network approach to improving maternal health access and outcomes in rural regions, HHS announced today. HRSA expects to fund at least three cooperative agreements through the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program funding opportunity

Black Maternal Health Week provides an opportunity for hospitals and health systems to discuss childbirth risks for communities of color with community partners to create solutions that improve maternal health equity and empower women of color.

The AHA through its Better Health for Mothers and Babies initiative provides maternal health resources to the field with the goal of eliminating maternal mortality and reducing morbidity related to childbirth. On April 7, the American Hospital Association brought together experts from across the health care field for a national conversation dedicated to maternal health equity.

If you missed AHA’s Amplifying the Voices of Mothers event or want to listen again, click here.

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