WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act of 2018 to improve maternity care for women and newborns. The United States has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world and one of the highest rates of infant mortality. According to the 2017 New Mexico KIDS Count report, New Mexico’s rate of infant mortality has risen from 5.1 to 6.3 deaths per 1000 births since 2015.
“New Mexico’s progress in child well-being has lagged behind the rest of the country for too long. Helping pregnant women and their babies receive quality care gives them the healthy start they need to grow and thrive,” said Senator Heinrich. “This legislation will improve access to prenatal care and enhance the quality of health care for mothers and newborns.”
“The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act will make a real difference in the lives of moms and babies by helping to ensure every pregnant woman and infant gets the highest quality care possible,” stated March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart. “March of Dimes strongly supports this effort to increase the quality of perinatal health care, and we look forward to its swift enactment.”
The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act of 2018 will improve maternity care for women and newborns by holding Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program accountable through higher quality standards. Medicaid currently has a set of guidelines for pediatric and adult care but no specific standards for maternity and infant care.
The legislation will also provide funding for care quality partnerships that will bring together states, health care providers, insurance companies, and other stakeholders to develop and carry out new strategies to improve maternity and infant care.
The legislation, led by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
A copy of the bill is available here.