H.R. 1318 Fact Sheet

More women in the U.S. die from complications related to pregnancy than in any other developed country. Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) ranks among the most fatal. This alarming fact must be addressed; pregnancy must become safer. The way to address and control maternal death rates begins with a state setting up a maternal mortality review committee (MMRC), local health experts who study local maternal death cases to learn how to prevent future deaths and make pregnancy safer for women in their communities. For more states to take this step forward, federal support is needed to help states design a committee and pull data sources together to ensure states are able to share information with each other to identify solutions that will put an end to preventable maternal deaths. Congress can help states improve the health and safety of pregnant women, and save families from devastating losses, by investing in local programs that work.

Important Facts and Figures

  • The U.S. is the only industrialized nation with a rising maternal mortality rate.
  • The maternal mortality rate raised 26% from 2000 to 2014 and is currently at 23.8  deaths per 100,000 live births
  • AFE is a leading cause of maternal death affecting 1 in every 40,000 deliveries.
  • AFE remains poorly understood despite having been identified nearly a century ago.
  • AFE knows no bias and can affect any mother regardless of birth order.

The Solution

State MMRCs bring together local leaders including Ob-gyns, nurses, social workers, patient representatives, and others to review individual cases of maternal death and identify solutions to prevent these tragic events in the future.

What the Legislation Does

  1. Establishes a competitive grant program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assist states and U.S. territories in creating or expanding state MMRCs.
  2. Investigates cases of maternal mortality and allows states to develop strategies to avoid future deaths.
  3. Understands the root causes of maternal mortality in a given state through standardized data collection, resulting in the creation of a robust national data to understand U.S. statistics and support state information sharing.
  4. Recommends locally-relevant strategies to support improvements in health care delivery, public health solutions, and ultimately savings to the health care system.
  5. Researches racial and ethnic health disparities in maternal outcomes to identify solutions to improve healthcare.