May 24, 2021

Cassidy, Warnock, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) announced the introduction of legislation to improve health outcomes for women and infants. The bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act would authorize new federal grant programs aimed at reducing maternal mortality to help improve maternal health outcomes for all women. The bill was also cosponsored by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tina Smith (D-MN), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

“Louisiana has too many mothers dying during and after giving birth. This bill supports training, resources, and providers to better care for new mothers and their babies,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“It’s beyond time for Congress to address the maternal health crisis that’s disproportionately killing Black women and women of color in Georgia and throughout the nation, and the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act is a critical step forward,” said Senator Warnock. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation, and I’m going to keep working to make sure the federal government is doing its part to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity across Georgia and our nation.”

“It is unacceptable that the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate when compared to other developed countries. This bill would mark an important step forward in addressing the devastatingly high maternal mortality rate,” said Senator Rubio. “These are common-sense initiatives we can take to improve outcomes for mothers and their babies in America.”

“Women in New Hampshire and across the country too often lack the high-quality care that they need during and after their pregnancy, which can lead to preventable complications or even death for pregnant and postpartum women,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan legislation will help save lives by addressing disparities in maternal health care and help ensure that all pregnant women and new moms receive the care that they need to stay safe and healthy during and after their pregnancy.”

“Throughout my career as an OB/GYN, I am proud to have delivered thousands of babies into the arms of healthy mothers, but at times, there are circumstances beyond our control that are not fully understood,” said Dr. Marshall. “Last Congress, our legislation to improve data collection and analysis to gain a better understanding of these circumstances was signed into law. To build on that progress, our bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act takes a step forward in utilizing this data to develop evidence-based practices and training that will improve the quality of for all expecting mothers.”

The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act would:

  • Authorize a grant program for innovations in reducing maternal mortality including developing evidence based best practices and improving maternal mortality review committee data;
  • Authorize a grant program for racial and ethnic bias training for health care providers;
  • Create a study on best practices for teaching within health professional training programs to reduce and prevent discrimination;
  • Expand the ability of the CDC to award grants for perinatal quality collaboratives; and
  • Authorize a grant program for developing integrated health care services for pregnant and postpartum women and infants, with grants and reporting of study outcomes.

The bill is endorsed by the following entities and organizations: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 1,000 Days; 2020 Mom; AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families; American College of Nurse-Midwives; American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists; American Hospital Association, American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA); American Nurses Association; American Psychiatric Association; American Public Health Association; America’s Essential Hospitals; Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation; Anthem, Inc.; APS Foundation of America, Inc; Association of American Medical Colleges; Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs; Association of Public Health Laboratories; Babyscripts; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association; Catholic Health Association of the United States; Every Mother Counts; First Focus Campaign for Children; Futures Without Violence; Glo Preemies; Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation; Johnson & Johnson; March of Dimes; March for Moms; Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance; Mom Congress; MomsRising; National Association of County and City Health Officials; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health; National Black Women’s HIV/AIDS Network; National Medical Association; National WIC Association; Nurse-Family Partnership; PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association; The PPROM Foundation; Preeclampsia Foundation; PreemieWorld, LLC; Sepsis Alliance; Shades Of Blue Project; Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine; Society for Women’s Health Research; and The Joint Commission.