By Chris Faulknor, Publisher
United States Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) took a step towards bipartisan cooperation through her co-introduction of a bill meant to improve maternity care for women and newborns through higher standards for Medicaid.
Dubbed the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act and co-sponsored by Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), this legislation would compel Medicaid to cover a wider range of services for mothers and children.
“Maternity care is critical to the health of women across the country and helps children get a healthy start in life,” said Stabenow. “This bill leverages the innovation of doctors, nurses, midwives and other maternity care providers to improve care, help save lives and reduce costs at the same time.”
Dr. James Breeden, speaking as the President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, spoke in favor of this legislation.
“We welcome this legislation, which creates a federal partnership with physicians and other health care providers to fill gaps in current quality measurement programs,” said Breeden. “It further empowers state and local initiatives to speed dissemination and adoption of maternity care best practices.”
This bill comes in response to research showing that nearly a quarter of all hospitalizations are related to childbearing women and newborns, and that statistics are showing more unnecessary c-sections and early inductions of labor.
Currently, Medicaid finances 40% of all births nationwide, and covers after-birth care for 60 days following delivery.
As things stand, states have the option to provide (or limit) what additional services are covered.