March of Dimes, ACOG Hail Legislation to Improve Health Care for Pregnant Women and Newborns

Washington, District of Columbia | Thursday, March 3, 2016

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Cindy Pellegrini

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The March of Dimes and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) today applauded introduction of the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act, a bill to improve quality of care, health outcomes, and the value of maternity care. This legislation is authored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and has twelve bipartisan original cosponsors.

“That which is measured is paid attention to,” stated March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse. “The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act will address the significant gaps in quality measures and systems to track and improve perinatal health care. The March of Dimes commends Representatives Engel and Stivers for their leadership in bringing this focus to maternal and child health care quality.”

“The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is very excited and pleased to support the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act. The goal of every obstetrician-gynecologist is a healthy mother and a healthy baby, and as the leading group of health care providers dedicated to caring for women, ACOG is committed to improving and applying the current best practices in obstetrical care,” stated ACOG President Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, MBA. “Quality collaboratives are an important way to help make sure that evidence-based practice recommendations – including those related to early elective deliveries and avoiding the primary cesarean – are implemented in a way that truly improves the care that women receive. ACOG thanks Representatives Eliot Engel and Steve Stivers for their leadership on the issue of improving maternity care and looks forward to working with both chambers of Congress to advance this bill into law.”

Together, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program cover nearly fifty percent of all births in the United States. The programs use two core quality measure sets to track the care delivered to adults and children in those systems, but have no dedicated set of measures to track care for pregnant women and infants. The legislation would require the development and regular review of a core “mother and infant care” quality measure set for those programs to gauge progress in improving perinatal health care quality. In addition, the legislation would provide dedicated funding for maternity care quality collaboratives to undertake multi-stakeholder projects to reduce maternal and newborn morbidity rates, reduce hospital readmission rates, improve the appropriate use of cesarean section, and improve breastfeeding rates.

House bill original cosponsors are Republicans Bob Dold (IL), Evan Jenkins (WV), Peter King (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Tom MacArthur (NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), and Don Young (AK), and Democrats Ted Deutch (FL), Gwen Graham (FL), Joe Kennedy (MA), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), and Patrick Murphy (FL).

The Senate version of the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act (S. 466) is sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and has nine cosponsors.

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About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org
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About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.