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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 2, 2017.
Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017
This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a program under which HHS may make grants to states for the purpose of: (1) reviewing pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths (maternal deaths); (2) establishing and sustaining a maternal mortality review committee to review relevant information; (3) ensuring that the state department of health develops a plan for ongoing health care provider education in order to improve the quality of maternal care, disseminate findings, and implement recommendations; (4) disseminating a case abstraction form to aid information collection for HHS review and preserve its uniformity; and (5) providing for the public disclosure of information included in state reports.
The bill defines "pregnancy-associated death" as the death of a woman while pregnant or during the one-year period following the date of the end of pregnancy, irrespective of the cause of death. It defines "pregnancy-related death" as the death of a woman while pregnant or during the one-year period following the date of the end of pregnancy, irrespective of the pregnancy's duration, from any cause related to, or aggravated by, the pregnancy or its management, excluding any accidental or incidental cause.
States shall develop procedures for mandatory reporting to their departments of health by health facilities and professionals concerning maternal deaths and for voluntary reporting of such deaths by family members.
States shall investigate each case and prepare a case summary for each case, to be reviewed by the committee and included in applicable reports.
The bill amends the Public Health Service Act to direct HHS to take specified steps to eliminate disparities in maternal health outcomes.