MEDICAL ALLEY – The Medical Alley Association commends the introduction of legislation by Minnesota State Representative Kelly Morrison that would extend Medical Assistance (MA) coverage for women for a year after giving birth. Passage and enactment of this bi-partisan bill would ensure low-income women have continuous access to healthcare throughout this critical post-partum timeframe. Studies show that losing Medicaid coverage after giving birth is a primary reason to be uninsured among post-partum women.
“Ensuring pregnant and post-partum women have continuous access to healthcare is essential to improving outcomes throughout the state,” said Bobby Patrick, Vice President of Strategic Growth and Policy for the Medical Alley Association. “While this legislation is only one piece of what needs to be a multi-pronged strategy that looks to leverage innovation in care and technology and aims to reduce an unacceptably high mortality rate among pregnant and post-partum women – especially among women of color – it is critical to its success.”
Maternal mortality has become an increasingly significant health crisis in the United States, one that persists for many months following childbirth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost one-third of maternal deaths occur more than one week postpartum and almost one in eight after six weeks. Data also show that three in five pregnancy related deaths are preventable, illustrating the need to ensure access to post-partum care.
Extending the timeframe for post-partum care can also help to address health inequities that exist for women of color – particularly black and indigenous women. This pregnancy mortality rate for women within these populations is up to four times as high as white women; further, late life-threatening post-partum complications are more likely to affect black people than white people.
“The Medical Alley Association looks forward to working with policymakers to identify additional opportunities to bring forward the innovation and expertise of our membership to help improve access to prenatal and post-partum care and address maternal healthcare inequities for minority and underserved communities throughout Minnesota,” Patrick concluded.
The Medical Alley Association actively supports passage and enactment of Rep. Morrison’s bill, HF521, as well as federal legislation removing the need for individual state waivers that would allow this legislation to take effect.