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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Submits Comments to CMS on Rural Maternal Health Disparities


    Karey Sutton, Director, Health Equity Research Workforce

    The AAMC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on May 29 in response to a Request For Information on maternal and infant health care in rural communities.

    CMS sought public comments on emergency preparedness and opportunities to improve health care access, quality, and perinatal outcomes for rural women. It was particularly focused on the rising rates of racial and ethnic health and health care disparities within rural populations.

    In its comments, the AAMC expressed appreciation of CMS’s attention to and efforts around these growing disparities. In its comments, the AAMC encouraged CMS to:

    • Partner with community-based stakeholders to codevelop programs and policies that address systemic issues (e.g., racism, discrimination, sexism, classism) that have an adverse effect on maternal health outcomes.
    • Support alternative care models, an expansion of telehealth models, improved broadband access, and investment in the rural physician pipeline to address care shortages in rural communities.
    • Explore the research- and evidence-based quality improvement toolkits developed by the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative.
    • Leverage existing partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Service Administration to improve the coordination and collection of maternal health data across systems.