Neal, Brady Release GAO Report on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

May 10, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) released a report titled, “Maternal Mortality and Morbidity: Additional Efforts Needed to Assess Program Data for Rural and Underserved Areas:” from the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The lawmakers requested this report almost two years ago after concerns were raised over the utter lack of available, nationwide data on maternal mortality.  

“The U.S. currently has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. This is unacceptable and America’s mothers deserve better,” said Neal and Brady. “Two years ago, we sent letters to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting information to better understand this issue and the federal government’s efforts to address it. 

“In order to implement a national strategy to prevent poor maternal outcomes, we must first have access to clear, accurate data on which areas and demographics are most severely impacted. This report confirms our long held worry that rural mothers in America have disproportionately higher death rates than those living in metropolitan areas. The report further highlights the disproportionately higher mortality rates that mothers in underserved areas—areas with lower numbers of certain health care providers per capita—face. 

“We strongly encourage the relevant agencies to adopt GAO’s recommendations, and in Congress, we will continue working to address the lack of consistent, nationwide data on maternal mortality, so that we can improve maternal health equity and outcomes in our nation and put an end to this terrible crisis.”

Read GAO’s “Maternal Mortality and Morbidity: Additional Efforts Needed to Assess Program Data for Rural and Underserved Areas” HERE.

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