Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force
Maternal mortality is often used as a measure of health and well-being among women across the globe. The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has nearly doubled in a decade and is higher than in 40 other industrialized countries. In Texas, the maternal mortality rate increased from 13.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2007, to 24.4 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011. The maternal mortality rate for African American women is 2-3 times higher than for Caucasian women—one of the most striking disparities in women’s health outcomes. (Source: Texas Department of State Health Services)
Maternal mortality is often used to measure health and well-being for women. Improved surveillance efforts can improve maternal mortality estimates and inform the development of strategies to address the needs of maternal and child health populations.
In 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 495 which created a Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force to study maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity. Such task forces are a key mechanism for reducing preventable maternal deaths and complications, because they can identify trends and implement changes in order to improve health outcomes.
Perinatal Advisory Council
The Perinatal Advisory Council, created by House Bill 15 in 2013, will develop and recommend criteria for designating levels of neonatal and maternal care, including specifying the minimum requirements to qualify for each level designation and a process for the assignment of levels of care to a hospital, makes recommendations for dividing the state into neonatal and maternal care regions, examines utilization trends in neonatal and maternal care, and recommends ways to improve neonatal and maternal outcomes. The council must submit a report with its recommendations to the Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of State Health Services by September 1, 2015.