The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health today voted to advance to the full committee a number of AHA-supported bills focused on maternal health and social determinants of health.
The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 4387) would fund programs that develop and disseminate best practices to improve maternal outcomes; educate health care professionals with respect to perceptions and biases that may impact care for racial and ethnic minority populations; and establish perinatal quality collaboratives and programs to deliver integrated care to pregnant and postpartum women. It also would provide grants to implement obstetric networks, maternal telehealth programs and a maternal care training demonstration for providers in rural settings, and improve rural obstetric care data collection at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Companion legislation (S. 1675 and S. 1491) passed the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions in May.
The Data to Save Moms Act (H.R. 925) and Maternal Vaccination Act (H.R. 951) are two of the AHA-supported provisions included in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act. H.R. 925 would authorize grants to engage representative community members in maternal mortality review committees, and direct the Health and Human Services Secretary to work with stakeholders to improve maternal health data collection and quality measures. H.R. 951 would direct the HHS Secretary to carry out a national campaign to increase awareness of the importance of maternal vaccinations for the health of pregnant and postpartum individuals and their children. Both bills were reported favorably as amended.
The AHA-supported Social Determinants Accelerator Act (H.R. 2503) would provide planning grants and technical assistance to help states and communities address the social determinants of health for high-need Medicaid patients. The subcommittee amended the bill before passage to add the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act (H.R. 379), which would create a CDC program to coordinate federal efforts to address social determinants of health. AHA supports H.R. 379 as part of its work with the Aligning for Health coalition.
The subcommittee also passed the Supporting Medicaid in the U.S. Territories Act (H.R. 4406), which would provide five years of enhanced Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico, and eight years of enhanced Medicaid funding for the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. It would extend the current enhanced federal medical assistance percentage for each of the territories during the period for increased funding.