The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Resources and Services Administration should disaggregate and analyze maternal health data for rural and underserved communities, and adjust maternal health program efforts to meet the needs in those communities, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released today. It also recommended the Department of Health and Human Services’ workgroups coordinate their approaches for monitoring maternal health efforts.
GAO reviewed nationwide data from CDC's Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System from 2011 to 2016, and found that pregnancy-related deaths were higher in rural than metropolitan areas. It also found higher estimated rates of severe maternal morbidity in metropolitan than rural areas based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for 2016 to 2018. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Ranking Member Kevin Brady, R-Texas, requested the report.¬¬¬