March 6, 2013 — Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) have introduced legislation (S 425) that seeks to improve the quality of maternity care for women and infants in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, CBS Detroit reports.
The Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act calls for the development of higher maternity care quality standards for Medicaid and CHIP, as well as "support[s] collaboration that promotes the best care and avoids medical complications to reduce costs," according to the bill text.
In addition, the bill would provide funding to establish new collaboration projects and expand existing ones, such as the Keystone Obstetrics Project in Michigan that has helped hospitals reduce unnecessary caesarean sections and early inductions of labor.
Stabenow said, "Maternity care is critical to the health of women across the country and helps children get a healthy start in life," adding that the bill "leverages the innovation of doctors, nurses, midwives and other maternity care providers to improve care, help save lives and reduce costs at the same time."
Grassley said that improving maternity care outcomes also makes fiscal sense, as the federal government pays for 40% of births in the U.S. (CBS Detroit, 3/4).