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Health Care For Moms, Babies, Target Of New Legislation

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(Credit: WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH/AFP/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Nearly a quarter of all hospitalizations are related to childbearing women and newborns, according to national data, but not all preventative care is covered by programs like Medicaid.

That’s where the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act comes in. Initiated by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and Chuck Grassley, R-IA, the act is meant to “improve maternity care for women and newborns by holding Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program accountable through higher quality standards.”

The Act would force Medicaid to cover a “full range of services” for women, and “support collaboration that promotes the best care and avoids medical complications to reduce costs.”

Additionally, the Act would fund new collaboration projects and expand existing ones, like the Keystone Obstetrics Project in Michigan that supporters say has reduced unnecessary C-sections and unwarranted early inductions of labor.

“We all have a stake in healthy moms and healthy babies. Maternity care is critical to the health of women across the country and helps children get a healthy start in life. This bill leverages the innovation of doctors, nurses, midwives and other maternity care providers to improve care, help save lives and reduce costs at the same time,” Stabenow said.

Grassley added that the federal government pays for 40 percent of births in the United States, which means covered preventative care could save money, “improving maternity outcome quality makes sense for moms, babies and taxpayers.”

James Breeden, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said: “We welcome this legislation, which creates a federal partnership with physicians and other health care providers to fill gaps in current quality measurement programs. It further empowers state and local initiatives to speed dissemination and adoption of maternity care best practices. Maternity care quality collaboratives break down silos between large and small hospitals, urban and rural providers, helping raise the bar on quality health care for the mothers and babies we serve.”

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