H.R. 4217 (104th): Safe Motherhood Act of 1996

Sep 26, 1996 (104th Congress, 1995–1996)
Died (Referred to Committee)
Patricia Schroeder
Representative for Colorado's 1st congressional district
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Last Updated
Sep 26, 1996
62 pages

This bill was introduced on September 26, 1996, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced Sep 26, 1996
Referred to Committee Sep 26, 1996
Full Title

To promote safer motherhood through improved surveillance and research on pregnancy outcomes through health professional and public education regarding pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality, through increased public education concerning folic acid supplements, through requiring health plan coverage of minimum hospital stays for childbirth, and through establishment of quality standards for facilities performing ultrasound procedures.


No summaries available.

Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

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H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

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The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Title I - Epidemiological and Educational Activities Regarding Pregnancy-Related Complications Title II: Public Education Regarding Folic Acid as Dietary Supplement Title III: Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996 Title IV: Ultrasound Safe Motherhood Act of 1996
Title I - Epidemiological and Educational Activities Regarding Pregnancy-Related Complications
Pregnancy-Related Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance and Research Act - Amends the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) (the Secretary), acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), to:
(1) provide technical assistance to the States to assist them with various matters involving pregnancy-related complications;
(2) carry out activities to educate health professionals and the public on the prevention of pregnancy-related complications and the treatments available for such complications; and
(3) study and report to the Congress on such complications, including the extent to which research on the prevention and treatment of such complications is being conducted in the United States. Requires such report to include:
(1) recommendations for improving the effectiveness of Federal and State activities for the collection of epidemiological data on such complications; and
(2) an agenda for the conduct and support by the Federal Government of research on preventing and treating them.
Authorizes appropriations.
Title II - Public Education Regarding Folic Acid as Dietary Supplement
Folic Acid Public Education Act - Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the CDCP Director, to carry out a program to encourage physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and other health professionals to educate patients that consuming a daily supplement of folic acid is effective in preventing birth defects. Authorizes appropriations.
Title III - Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996
Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act of 1996 - Requires health plans providing maternity benefits to ensure that coverage is provided with respect to a mother who is a participant, beneficiary, or policyholder under such plan and her newborn child for a minimum inpatient length of stay of 48 hours following a normal delivery, and 96 hours following a caesarean section, without requiring the attending provider to obtain prior plan authorization.
Makes an exception to such requirement in cases where the provider has consulted with the mother beforehand about an earlier discharge and the plan provides coverage for post-delivery follow-up care as described below.
Section 304 -
Requires that when a decision is reached to discharge a mother and her newborn child from the inpatient setting before expiration of the minimum inpatient length of stay period, the health plan must provide coverage for timely post-delivery care by a registered nurse, physician, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or physician assistant experienced in maternal and child health with the mother having the option of being provided with such care in different places, including her home.
Section 305 -
Provides that, in implementing the requirements of this title, a health plan may not: (1) deny enrollment or continued coverage to a mother and her newborn child based on their compliance with this title; (2) provide monetary payments or rebates to mothers to encourage them to request less than the required minimum coverage; or (3) take other specified actions regarding provider reimbursement and incentives.
Section 306 -
Prescribes appropriate notice requirements for health plans.
Section 308 -
Requires each State to require that each health plan issued, sold, renewed, offered for sale or operated in such State by a health plan issuer meet the standards established under this Act and submit such information as required by the Secretary of Labor demonstrating effective implementation of the requirements of this title.
Requires the Secretary of Labor to enforce such standards and requirements in a State if the State fails substantially to do so.
Subjects each health plan issuer operating in such a State to appropriate civil enforcement under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Section 310 -
Specifies aspects of State law regarding maternity and pediatric care which are not preempted by this title. Declares that the post-delivery follow-up care requirements of this title shall not preempt those provisions of State law that provide greater protection to patients or policyholders than those required under this title or that provide mothers and newborns with an option of timely post delivery follow-up care in the home.
Section 311 -
Directs the Secretary to establish an advisory panel to develop and report to the Secretary a consensus, if any, regarding the appropriateness of the specific requirements of this title.
Directs the Secretary to study and report to certain congressional committees on various specified matters with regard to post-natal care, together with recommendations for improvements in pre- and post- natal care, delivery and follow-up care, and whether their implementation should be accomplished by the private health sector, Federal or State governments, or any combination of them.
Title IV - Ultrasound
Ultrasound Quality Standards Act of 1996 - Amends PHSA to require the certification of ultrasound facilities operated in accordance with certain standards the Secretary shall establish.
Provides for compliance inspection of such facilities by the Secretary or a delegated State agency.
Allows for suspension and revocation of facility certification, as well as the imposition of other specified sanctions to promote voluntary compliance, for facilities failing to comply with applicable requirements and standards.
Authorizes appropriations.
Section 403 -
Directs the Institute of Medicine, by itself or with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to survey the data collected on the prevalence of the use of fetal ultrasound and the interaction between physicians and consumers that may be driving the use of fetal ultrasound. States that the survey should begin with data collected after the report in 1984 by NIH on a consensus development conference on diagnostic ultrasound imaging in pregnancy.
Section 404 -
Directs the Secretary to establish a program to provide educational outreach to medical practitioners and the public regarding the appropriateness of fetal ultrasound for the health of mothers and fetuses.
Section 405 -
Requires the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on whether this program has resulted in improvement of the quality of fetal ultrasound, and a reduction in nonmedically indicated fetal ultrasonography, without affecting access to medically necessary services or unnecessarily burdening health care providers.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

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