U.S. House Passes Jaime Herrera Beutler-Supported Bill to Improve Maternal Health
Legislation expands telehealth for maternal health providers, increases access to health services in rural areas
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), which will take steps to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity and improve health services for women in Southwest Washington and across the country.
H.R. 4995, the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act of 2019, will increase access to health services for women in rural areas, expand telehealth grants to include maternal health providers, and improve the quality of care and training for maternal health providers to improve birth outcomes and save lives during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.
“It’s encouraging that Congress is continuing to tackle the maternal mortality crisis that has been plaguing our country for far too long,” Herrera Beutler said. “The Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act is a step in the right direction, and will build upon my Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, which was signed into law in 2018. I’m going to continue advocating for solutions will help improve the health and wellbeing of moms and babies in Southwest Washington and across the nation.”
The legislation will also create a grant program to establish rural obstetric networks aimed at improving birth outcomes and reducing maternal mortality for Native American and Alaskan Inuit population, two minority groups who face a higher rate of maternal deaths.
Maternal Mortality Crisis in the United States
The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among developed nations, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 700 women in the U.S. die from pregnancy-related complications each year.
Herrera Beutler’s landmark maternal health legislation, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, was approved by Congress and signed into law in 2018, and was the strongest effort Congress had taken to reserve the endemic maternal mortality rate in the U.S.