Maternal health bills advance in the House

The House Energy and Commerce Committee last week approved two 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 advance 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, the American Hospital Association (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 and on bundled payments for pregnancy-related care. Maternal health is a top priority for the association and its members. (AHA Today story, 11/21/19)