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Rep. Young Kim

Feb 6, 2024 | Health, Press Releases

Washington, DC – Today Congresswomen Young Kim (CA-40) and Robin Kelly (IL-02), co-chairs of the Maternity Care Caucus, applauded new CMS efforts to improve maternal health and birth outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women and their infants through the new Transforming Maternal Health (TMaH) Model. This 10-year payment and care-delivery model will support participating state Medicaid agencies (SMAs) in developing and implementing a whole-person approach to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care for women with Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage.

To help mothers feel supported in their birthing plan, states participating in the TMaH Model will increase access to a variety of maternal health providers, such as midwives, freestanding birth centers, and doula services. Participating Medicaid agencies will work with their hospitals and health systems to help achieve the CMS “Birthing-Friendly” designation, which is the first federal quality designation with a focus on maternal health for hospitals and health systems. Additionally, states will foster connections to implement evidence-based practices and lessons, like monitoring pregnant women at home who are diagnosed with conditions that can lead to pregnancy-related complications, such as hypertension and gestational diabetes. Participating states will also have their maternity care providers screen for and address pregnant women’s health-related social needs – including, but not limited to, challenges like inadequate access to nutritious food, housing insecurity, or substance use disorder – by connecting mothers to community-based organizations.

“We need to take concrete steps to address the maternal mortality crisis in our country,” said Maternity Care Caucus co-chair Young Kim. “I am pleased to see the CMS’s new Transforming Maternal Health (TMaH) Model that allows more moms to access essential doula, midwifery, and postpartum services and receive care that meets their unique needs. Healthy mom means healthy baby, and I am hopeful that through more targeted research, workforce investments, and personalized care, we can end the maternal health care crisis.”

“The unfortunate reality is that too many moms, and particularly Black moms, are losing their lives. The crisis of maternal mortality is unacceptable, and I’m proud of my work to combat these stark disparities,” said Maternity Care Caucus co-chair Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “This new initiative by CMS will further support new and expecting mothers, especially those who benefit from extended Medicaid postpartum coverage – which I fought to make permanent. I look forward to working with communities to implement these new strategies and bring more resources to mothers and babies who need them most.”

“CMS is taking a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to achieve our goal of making tangible improvements in maternal health and birth outcomes,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “The Transforming Maternal Health Model furthers our commitment to improve the experience for all pregnant women across the country, regardless of their background and ethnicity.” 

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