The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) has announced a new, two-year policy academy kicking off in April for state health officials interested in building state capacity to address maternal mortality for Medicaid-eligible pregnant and parenting women, with the goal of improving access to quality care.
Through the Maternal and Child Health Policy Innovation Program (MCH PIP), funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau within the Health Resources and Services Administration, NASHP’s Maternal and Child Health Policy Innovation Program Policy Academy will engage eight state teams (GA, ID, IL, IA, LA, PA, SD, and VA). The teams include representatives from state Medicaid agencies, public health agencies, and other state stakeholders (e.g., mental health/substance use agencies, child welfare agencies, provider groups, Medicaid managed care plans, and others.)
Through this policy academy, states will identify, develop, and implement policy changes or develop specific plans for policy changes to improve maternal health outcomes, with a specific focus on improving racial disparities in maternal mortality.
The United States has seen a steady rise in maternal mortality over the past few years and has the worst maternal mortality rate among developed nations. Additionally, there are stark racial disparities in pregnancy-related deaths. American Indian/Alaska Native and Black women are two- to three- times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than non-Latinx (non-Hispanic) White women. States are grappling with a number of factors in their efforts to improve access to quality care for this population and strengthen the systems serving them.
Over the course of the two-year project, NASHP will provide technical assistance to states, identify barriers, and share promising practices for improving maternal health outcomes to help states achieve their policy goals.