In the wake of a concerning rise in maternal mortality rates Governor Kathy Hochul is contemplating signing two key pieces of legislation aimed at enhancing maternal care.
One bill, known as Mickie’s Law, requires hospitals to revise protocols for treating patients with a dead or dying fetus and to arrange for the patient’s transfer if treatment contradicts the hospital’s religious beliefs.
Named after a baby who died during the second trimester, the legislation is a response to a hospital’s refusal to perform a necessary procedure, equating it to an abortion.
In addition to Mickie’s Law, Hochul will consider a bill requiring the state Health Department to compile a directory of doulas to enhance maternal care. The bill particularly mandates the inclusion of information on doulas accepting Medicaid.
These initiatives follow several months of listening sessions conducted by the state’s Maternal Mortality Review Board and Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advisory Council. The data from these sessions will inform a report with recommendations due by year-end.
The efforts to improve maternal care come as the state grapples with a maternal mortality rate of 18.2 deaths per 100,000 live births, lower than the national rate but alarmingly high compared to other industrialized nations.
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