The Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) supports two federal laws aimed to improve the safety of mothers in hospitals across the United States.
Before adjourning in December, Congress passed these important maternal health bills that were subsequently signed into law.
“Over 600 mothers are dying in the United States every year in ways that could be prevented if hospitals put the proper safety processes in place. These children, families and communities will never be the same. I hope to see more legislation focused on improving patient safety in our hospitals. Together, we can eliminate medical errors – the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.,“ said Joe Kiani, Founder & Chairman of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation.
The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (H.R. 1318), a bipartisan bill sponsored by Congresswomen Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Diana Degette (D-CO), will help states establish or improve maternal mortality review committees tasked with examining pregnancy-related deaths and identify opportunities for preventing these deaths. The PSMF joined over 80 organizations that signed a letter of support for H.R. 1318, urging Congressional leaders to pass this critical piece of legislation.
Specifically, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, authorizes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue grants to states for the purpose of:
- reviewing pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths;
- establishing and sustaining a maternal mortality review committee to review relevant information;
- ensuring that the state department of health develops a plan for ongoing health care provider education in order to improve the quality of maternal care, disseminate findings, and implement recommendations;
- disseminating a case abstraction form to aid information collection for HHS review and preserve its uniformity; and
- providing for the public disclosure of information included in state reports.
The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act (H.R. 315), sponsored by Congressman Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), an OB/GYN, will help identify areas in the nation where there are serious maternity care shortages and eliminate gaps in maternity care access across the continuum of care (labor, birthing, prenatal and postpartum care).