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Bipartisan House panel leaders ask agencies for maternal mortality data

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Bipartisan leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday sent letters to six federal agencies requesting summaries of their efforts to address maternal morbidity and mortality rates in the U.S.

Pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. have increased by more than 100 percent since 1987, from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births to 18 deaths per 100,000 in 2014, according to the letters.

{mosads}Leaders on the House panel sent the requests to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

The letters emphasized disproportionate maternal mortality rates among black mothers.

“While maternal mortality rates have been increasing in the United States in recent years, since 1950, black mothers have continued to die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, representing one of the widest racial disparities in women’s health,” the letters state. Earlier this month, Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) announced the formation of the Black Maternal Health Caucus.

“This is an important first step, and we are interested in exploring additional efforts that may be underway to further improve reporting, data collection, and activities related to reducing maternal morbidity and mortality,” the committee leaders added in the letters.

The letters were signed by Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.). Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Esho (D-Calif.) and subcommittee ranking member Michael Burgess (R-Texas) also signed, as did Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairwoman Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and subcommittee ranking member Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.)

Tags Alma Adams bipartisan Brett Guthrie Diana DeGette Frank Pallone Jr. Greg Walden Health care House Energy and Commerce Committee Lauren Underwood maternal mortality Michael Burgess
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