Each year, Congress must pass funding bills to keep the government running and fund federal agencies, including critical public health programs. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved an increase in funding for a number of key maternal health initiatives and programs for Fiscal Year 2022.
The increase comes after months of ACOG advocacy and includes:
- $156 million increase for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant
- $56 million increase for the CDC Safe Motherhood programs, which include support for state maternal mortality review committees and perinatal quality collaboratives
- $30 million increase for HRSA's State Maternal Health Innovation grant program
- $5.3 million increase to support the work of the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) program
- Additional investment in maternal mental health initiatives, including increased funding for screening and treatment of maternal depression and increased support for the Maternal Mental Health Hotline
- Funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to identify maternity care health professional target areas (MCTAs) that are suffering from a shortage of maternity care clinicians, including obstetrician-gynecologists and certified nurse-midwives, so that clinicians participating in the NHSC can be placed in the communities most in need of their services
- Increased support for the CDC's Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies Network (SET-NET)
- New funding to create or expand existing group prenatal and postpartum care programs and establish a pregnancy medical home pilot program to promote integrated health care services for pregnant individuals
- Critical investments at NIH to support maternal health research
In addition, the Committee directed NIH to prioritize funding for research into gynecologic cancers, including inequities in outcomes and funding for fibroid research, and encouraged the Health Resources and Services Administration to expand support for obstetrics and gynecology rural residency programs.
The bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives next week. The Senate is not expected to consider funding packages until the fall.
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