New legislation forms a state committee charged with gathering data about maternal deaths and making recommendations on how to reduce them.
Governor Brad Little signed legislation in March of 2019 to create a panel of doctors and medical professionals to study maternal deaths. According to Review to Action, a resource developed by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in partnership with the CDC Foundation and the CDC Division of Reproductive Health, approximately half the states in the U.S. currently have a maternal mortality review committee (MMRC) in place.
The Idaho committee is charged with gathering data about maternal deaths during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth and making recommendations about how to reduce such deaths. The work will cost approximately $27,000 over four years and will be federally funded.
The bill contains a “sunset clause,” that will dissolve the committee on July 1, 2023, unless lawmakers renew it. Idaho’s maternal death rate is slightly higher than the national average at about 27 per 100,000 births and according to the State of Babies Yearbook 2019, 4.5% of Idaho mothers receive late or no prenatal care.