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White House Releases Maternal Health Blueprint

The White House on June 24 released its Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, outlining the administration’s approach to combating maternal mortality and morbidity.

The blueprint outlines five priority goals to improve maternal health and outcomes, including:

  • increasing access to and coverage of comprehensive, high-quality maternal health services, including behavioral health services;
  • ensuring women giving birth are heard and are decision-makers in accountable systems of care;
  • advancing data collection, standardization, harmonization, transparency, and research;
  • expanding and diversifying the perinatal workforce; and
  • strengthening economic and social supports for people before, during, and after pregnancy.

For each priority area, the blueprint includes specific actions the federal government will take, for example:

  • address social determinants of maternal health;
  • strengthen risk-appropriate care in rural and urban areas;
  • strengthen supports and access to perinatal addiction services for individuals with substance use disorder;
  • establish a national, confidential, 24-hour, toll-free hotline for pregnant and postpartum individuals facing mental health challenges to increase access to mental health care;
  • explore opportunities to advance equitable, high-quality maternity care provided by hospitals, including revisions to the hospital Conditions of Participation and a proposed “birthing friendly” hospital designation;
  • making insurance coverage and costs of care transparent and protecting consumers from surprise bills;
  • train providers on implicit bias and culturally and linguistically appropriate care;
  • train more family medicine and obstetric providers in underserved settings;
  • increase the number of community health workers and health support workers in underserved areas;
  • identify Maternity Care Health Professional Target Areas, areas within primary care Health Professional Shortage Areas with the highest need for maternity care health professionals; and
  • identify and address potential adverse effects on maternal health from climate change.

The administration also called on Congress to improve and expand coverage by closing the Medicaid coverage gap and requiring that states provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Maryellen Guinan is a principal policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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