H.R.1551: Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act

Overview

The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act addresses the large and rising number of mothers dying from pregnancy-related complications in the United States. This bill facilitates data collection on the quality of care provided to mothers and infants covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Medicaid alone covers over 45 percent of annual births in the U.S. Additionally, it funds the expansion of organizations that improve maternity and infant care.

First, H.R. 1551 would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to identify and publish a core set of maternal and infant quality measures to evaluate care provided to mothers covered by Medicaid or CHIP. The Secretary would also establish a Maternal and Infant Quality Measurement Program to update these measures annually. Currently, the maternal and infant quality measures that exist are sporadically used and reported. A uniform set of quality measures would allow the government to better identify where maternity care under Medicaid and CHIP could be improved.

Second, this bill would require the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to adapt Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys to specifically measure quality of care for mothers and newborns. CAHPS currently only has standard surveys that measure quality of care across health providers, facilities, plans, and more.

Third, the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act would provide grants to create or expand maternity and infant care quality collaboratives. A quality collaborative is a group of health stakeholders that work to improve performance on a set of quality measures. Common activities include streamlining data collection, evaluating programs, and implementing evidence-based protocols.

S. 1960 is the Senate companion bill introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

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Talking Points

  • The United States’ maternal mortality rate is the highest of any developed country, and it is rising. Of the roughly 800 maternal deaths in the U.S. each year, 60 percent are preventable.
  • In 2006, a group of doctors in California established the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. Since then, California’s maternal mortality rate has decreased by over half. More information on California’s success can be found here: https://www.npr.org/2018/07/29/632702896/to-keep-women-from-dying-in-childbirth-look-to-california
  • The National Assembly supports H.R. 1551 because every mother deserves quality healthcare throughout and following their pregnancy. Improving the well-being of mothers and babies ensures everyone can reach their full potential, increasing our shared prosperity.

Our Stance

Support

Priority

High

Bill Number

H.R.1551

Date Introduced

March 06, 2019

Committee

House Ways and Means Committee

Bill Status

Introduced or Prefiled

Sponsor