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House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Critical Maternal Mortality Legislation

Last Updated on Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Preeclampsia Foundation commends the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health for holding the hearing, “Better Data and Better Outcomes: Reducing Maternal Mortality in the U.S.,” on Thursday, September 27. The hearing will be broadcast live at 10 am at http://bit.ly/2N7Jnz0.

“There has been a tremendous effort with a broad coalition to ensure that policymakers – both Republicans and Democrats – continue to make this legislation a priority and pass it into law this year,” said Eleni Tsigas, Chief Executive Officer of the Preeclampsia Foundation.

“We fully support the discussion draft of H.R. 1318, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, sponsored by Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Ryan Costello (R-PA) that will be considered at the hearing. This discussion draft mirrors S. 1112, the Maternal Health Accountability Act, as recently advanced by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee with unanimous support.”

Our nation faces a growing crisis in maternal health. More women die from pregnancy-related complications in the United States than in any other developed country, and the rate of maternal deaths continues to rise. Major disparities in maternal mortality exist, with black women three to four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

“We must act now to reverse this trend and save mothers’ lives,” said Tsigas. “We urge the Subcommittee to address maternal mortality by supporting the work of state maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs) through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

MMRCs are multidisciplinary groups of local experts in maternal, infant, and public health that examine cases of maternal death. Maternal mortality review is a cyclical process that does not end by simply counting and characterizing deaths, but is followed with action by putting the recommendations of the committee to work in hospitals and communities.

While these efforts take place at the state level, the legislation will allow for federal guidance through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to accelerate progress toward ensuring that every state has a high-functioning MMRC. This legislation will also advance efforts among states to standardize the collection and analysis of data. With better data and information, we can develop a national understanding of why mothers are dying and what we collectively can do to reverse this tragic trend.

“We look forward to continuing to work to see this bipartisan bill move forward in Congress and enacted into law this year,” said Tsigas. “This legislation is a top priority for the Preeclampsia Foundation because it will save the lives of moms.”

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