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State Lawmakers Release MOMNIBUS to Improve Maternal Health Disparities

March 19, 2024

The Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus today released its legislative package that aims to address racial disparities in maternal health outcomes across the commonwealth and improve access to care.

On Tuesday, leaders from the caucus hosted a press conference to announce the release of the PA MOMNIBUS, which aims to confront concerning rates of Black maternal mortality and morbidity in Pennsylvania.

“Together, these proposals represent a significant step towards promoting maternal health equity and ensuring the well-being of all moms and birthing people in Pennsylvania,” the caucus said in a statement today.

The priorities in the PA MOMNIBUS include:

  • Extending Medicaid coverage for doula services and the establishment of a doula advisory board.
  • Expanding private insurance coverage for doula services.
  • Requiring Medicaid and private insurance coverage for blood pressure cuffs at discharge for new parents.
  • Establishing a designation for maternal health deserts and at-risk counties.
  • Enhancing access to care for mental health services for pregnant and postpartum individuals.
  • Requiring health-related boards within the Department of State to complete implicit bias training as part of continuing education requirements.
  • Distributing maternal and newborn supply kits (“Welcome Baby Kits”) to provide essential resources and support to new mothers.

“HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals are firmly committed to improving maternal health quality, equity, and accessibility,” HAP President and CEO Nicole Stallings said in a statement. “Our recently launched task force on maternal health brings together health professionals with extensive experience in all areas of taking care of moms and babies. They will be our guiding light on our quality improvement and advocacy work. We look forward to partnering with the Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus on such important issues.”

HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals are working to support maternal health quality, equity, and access and have identified maternal health as a priority for quality improvement efforts. This includes fostering participation in the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative and launching a new member task force focused on maternal and infant health.

A replay of today’s press conference is available online.