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White House Blueprint Tackles Maternal Health Crisis 

June 29, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck

The White House has new plans to address maternal mortality through the Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, an effort to increase access and coverage for certain maternal health services, including behavioral health.

The blueprint outlines five priorities to improve maternal health and outcomes: increasing access to services, ensuring that women giving birth are heard, advancing data collection, expanding the perinatal workforce, and strengthening social and economic supports before, during and after pregnancy. 

The blueprint’s data shows that women in the U.S. have a higher rate of dying from pregnancy-related causes than in any other developed nation. Black women are three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications, and Native American women twice as likely.

Women who live in rural America, where there are maternal care deserts, are about 60% more likely to die. 

That’s why investments will be made particularly in rural maternal care facilities. They will be equipped with more staff and capabilities through increased funding from the Rural Maternity and Obstetric Management Strategies Program, and providing more robust training for rural providers. 

A new initiative will also launch through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services known as the Birthing-Friendly hospitals initiative, which will deploy the first federal hospital quality designation with a focus on maternal health.

The blueprint contains 50 actions and requires the collaboration of dozens of agencies focused on improving maternal care for mothers across the country.

Alexa can be reached at alexa@thewellnews.com 

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