Rep. Kelly’s Bill to Address Maternal Health Crisis Advances

Congresswoman Robin Kelly's legislation on the maternal health crisis advanced.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s bill, H.R. 4387, the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, passed out of markup in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. To combat this health crisis, Rep. Kelly introduced the bipartisan legislation in July along with Reps. Alma Adams of North Carolina and Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, and Republican colleagues Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Michael Burgess of Texas and Bob Latta of Ohio. This bill will soon advance to the House floor for final passage.

In the United States, there are an estimated 700 pregnancy-related deaths per year and 60 percent of these are considered preventable. The crisis is most severe for Black mothers in America, who are dying at 3 to 4 times the rate of their white counterparts.

“The maternal health crisis has disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous, and people of color for far too long,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “We need to develop and share best practices to improve maternal health outcomes, but we also need to address some of the underlying biases among medical professionals that might interfere with delivering the best maternal care. While this crisis will not be eradicated overnight, the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, along with the more comprehensive MOMMA’s Act, present tangible steps we can take to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.”

The bipartisan bill would implement evidence-based best practices and policies within the medical community to improve maternal health outcomes. The bill would also support health professional training programs focused on biases that may affect the quality of maternal care for racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, the bill would provide funding to establish rural obstetric networks to improve birth outcomes and reduce maternal morbidity in rural areas.

The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act would:

  • Authorize a grant program to improve maternal health outcomes by developing evidence-based best practices, improving maternal mortality review committee data, and evaluating new models of care.
  • Authorize a grant program to address implicit and explicit bias training for health care providers.
  • Create a study to develop recommendations for teaching within health professional training programs to reduce and prevent biases that could impact maternal care.
  • Expand the ability of the CDC to award grants for perinatal quality collaboratives to develop and disseminate best practices.
  • Authorize a grant program for developing integrated health care services for pregnant and postpartum women and infants, with grants and reporting of study outcomes.

More information Congresswoman Kelly’s comprehensive work to address the maternal health crisis is available here.

This is news from Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office.