HIMSS, along with our partner REACH, hosted Developing a Digital Tech-Enabled Maternal Health Action Plan: A Roundtable for State Engagement. Here, participants discussed model practices and strategies that can be utilized by state and local health organizations in the battle to lower the U.S. maternal mortality rate.
Using valid and timely health and welfare data as well as the innovative use of health information and technology, the roundtable participants affirmed the need for a comprehensive approach to maternal health by leveraging cross-sector data, telehealth, remote patient monitoring and novel personal health technology solutions.
The recommendations are as follows:
- Support maternal health provisions in H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act (reconciliation bill). This legislation includes historic investments from the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act and provides $160 million to strengthen federal maternal health programs including the CDC's Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies program, Enhancing Reviews and Surveillance to Eliminate Maternal Mortality and Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.
- Enact Momnibus legislation at the state level. Similar to the federal package, create state level legislation with special emphasis on the top ten states (AK, GA, IN, LA, MO, MT, NJ, SC, TN, TX) with the highest maternal mortality, corresponding to national legislation and maternal health policy priorities. For example, the proposed North Carolina Momnibus (SB632/HB507) and the California Momnibus (SB65) that was recently signed into law aim to improve the maternal health crisis by improving data collection and quality measures to examine the maternal health crisis further and inform solutions.
- Focus state-level investments in telehealth and remote patient monitoring on expanded access to digital tools and technologies to sustain efforts beyond the pandemic that address COVID-19, maternal mortality and other chronic and infectious disease issues affecting women. States should match the investment in communities with the highest maternal mortality rates.
- Support active engagement of birthing hospitals, licensed birth centers and perinatal providers in quality improvement efforts and regular reporting to state/regional health information exchanges for improved surveillance.
- Coordinate with U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to use Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers in order to pilot interventions using evidence-based health information and technology strategies and interoperable solutions to improve health outcomes related to social determinants of health.