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Maternal health bill poised for breakthrough in legislature

Updated: May 16

By Alison Kuznitz (State House News Service)

WLLP


BOSTON (SHNS) – Warning that lives are at stake, the House co-chair of a commission focused on postpartum depression called on her colleagues Tuesday to advance legislation to stem the tide of worsening maternal health outcomes that are disproportionately impacting people of color.


Certified professional midwives (CPMs) would gain a pathway to become licensed in Massachusetts under a redrafted maternal health care package (H 4566) that was reported out favorably by the Committee on Public Health and the Health Care Financing Committee, which last week shipped it to the House Ways and Means Committee.


The bill would allow midwifery care to be covered by MassHealth, remove regulatory and staffing barriers to operate birth centers in Massachusetts, require postpartum depression screenings for new parents during visits to pediatrician offices, and expand access to lactation support, among other policies.


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