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State initiative launched to aid birthing hospitals

The Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Section of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health on Wednesday announced the kickoff of the Nevada Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health, one of many statewide efforts to end preventable maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity and comes on the heels of numerous legislative efforts to improve birth outcomes in Nevada.

The AIM initiative is the next step in the division’s work to support families and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality in Nevada.

The kickoff event is tailored for leadership of Nevada’s 18 birthing hospitals and and will provide an opportunity to learn about AIM’s structured way of improving processes of care and patient outcomes. Facilities choosing to participate will be able to access data to compare Nevada hospitals on defined benchmarks, join targeted trainings and receive guidance and information on evidence-based practices to prevent maternal mortality.

“This is a great opportunity for our state and the families we serve,” section manager Vickie Ives said. “Preventing maternal mortality and morbidity for Nevada families is a key priority, and through AIM we strive to provide an evidence-based resource for providers statewide to reduce preventable maternal deaths and severe maternal morbidity.”

Maternal mortality rates in the United States and in Nevada are increasing at an alarming rate. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nationally, about 700 individuals die every year from maternal complications, at least 60% of maternal mortality incidents are preventable, and people of color experience disparities of three to four times higher rates of maternal mortality.

In the past several years the division has worked with partners statewide on this issue, and in 2019 the Nevada Maternal Mortality Review Committee was established. The 2021 session of the Legislature brought additional bills that will help improve birth outcomes.

Assembly Bill 119 requires the Nevada MMRC to identify and review disparities in the incidence of maternal mortality and added the Office of Minority Health and Equity Advisory Board as a collaborating partner to ensure MMRC legislative reports on maternal morbidity and mortality are reviewed through an equity lens.

AB 189 expands Medicaid eligibility through the addition of presumptive eligibility and coverage for pregnant women. This legislation allows for more women to be covered by health insurance or find health insurance coverage earlier in their pregnancy, which can improve birth outcomes.

AB 192 aligns the screening of chlamydia trachomatis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and hepatitis C with best practices and recommendations of the CDC which increases the health and safety of Nevada’s birthing people and babies.

AB 256 requires doulas to enroll in Nevada Medicaid so their services can be covered, and the division will work with community-based organizations to prescribe the required training and qualifications for doula enrollment.

Senate Bill 190 increases access to self-administered hormonal contraceptives, which will ensure greater access for patients and reduce unintended pregnancies.

The 2018-2020 Maternal Mortality Review Committee Report can be found on the DPBH website here.

The Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health is funded through a cooperative agreement between the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resource Services Administration. AIM works through state- and community-based teams to align national, state and hospital efforts to improve overall maternal health outcomes.

For more information, visit https://safehealthcareforeverywoman.org/aim/

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