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House Subcommittee Evaluates Maternal and Infant Health

On November 3, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on several bills, including the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act (as-yet-unnumbered).

The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act

Sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the measure would improve the quality, health outcomes, and value of maternity care under the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by reducing preterm births and improving care for mothers and their children. In addition, the bill would authorize $16 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to identify and publish quality measures for maternal and infant health.

Speaking in support of the legislation, Anne L. Schwartz, executive director, Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), stated, “State Medicaid programs are working with federal and private sector partners to reduce non-medically indicated inductions and elective cesarean sections before 39 weeks of gestation, which are associated with adverse outcomes. In addition, state-based perinatal health quality collaboratives are providing feedback to providers, implementing new policies to limit the circumstances under which elective deliveries can take place, and changing delivery scheduling processes. Such efforts have been effective in significantly reducing early elective deliveries and changing rates of admission to neonatal intensive care units. The legislation before the subcommittee would add measures focused on maternal and infant health to the existing set of core quality measures, and provide resources to develop and expand collaborative activities, such as those described above…MACPAC supports expanding use of core measures in state quality improvement efforts and in particular, those measures that can be calculated by states using existing data.”

The following witnesses testified on other pieces of legislation:

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