The White House announced on June 24 a Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis. The blueprint described the administration’s vision for decreasing rates of maternal morbidity and mortality, reducing disparities, and improving the experiences of birthing people.
The blueprint outlined five goals to address the maternal health crisis:
- Increase access to and coverage of comprehensive, high-quality maternal health services, including behavioral health services.
- Ensure those giving birth are heard and are decision-makers in accountable systems of care.
- Advance data collection, standardization, transparency, research, and analysis.
- Expand and diversify the perinatal workforce.
- Strengthen economic and social supports for people before, during, and after pregnancy.
Specifically, the blueprint made strong commitments in areas that the AAMC has supported, such as expanding Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum. It also emphasized the importance of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives, which President Joe Biden has proposed supporting in every state. The blueprint also stated the need for better data collection and research and highlighted the need to ensure adequate resources for Maternal Mortality Review Committees as well as the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. Additionally, the blueprint called on Congress to act on the president’s budget by providing resources to expand the perinatal workforce including increasing the number of “physicians, licensed midwives, doulas, and community health workers in underserved communities.” Finally, the blueprint emphasized the importance of ensuring birthing persons have the appropriate social and economic supports that are needed to address social determinants of health and reduce adverse outcomes.
The blueprint followed a Maternal Health Day of Action sponsored by the vice president’s office, during which the AAMC committed to holding a virtual convening to discuss data needed to improve maternal health outcomes [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 10, 2021]. The AAMC Center for Health Justice held its Maternal Health incubator on May 24 and 25 [refer to Washington Highlights, May 27].