MACo Suggests Amendments to Allow Review Teams to Target Local Needs

Natasha Mehu recently submitted written testimony to the Finance Committee in support of SB 602 Public Health – Maternal Mortality Review Program – Establishment of Local Teams with amendments.

SB 602 would require each county to establish a multidisciplinary and multiagency maternal mortality review team that would help prevent and review information on maternal deaths.

According to the written testimony submitted, MACo has concerns with the fact that the bill would mandate counties to use limited resources without also providing the flexibility to allow the program to target local needs. Therefore, MACo requests that the bill be amended to authorize the establishment of these review teams, not require.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties that choose to establish a maternal mortality review team would be empowered to develop an understanding of maternal deaths on a county-specific level. They would be able to provide a community-based perspective to their state counterparts on the causes of maternal deaths and changes to law, policy, or practices that could prevent those deaths.

The efforts of these teams would complement the efforts of Maryland’s Maternal Mortality Review Program which includes a group of experts that reviews maternal deaths on a statewide basis, along with the Maternal Mortality Stakeholder Group which is charged with identifying and examining disparities in maternal deaths and implementing recommendations to address those disparities.

SB 602 provides counties with a tool for addressing maternal mortality deaths. Authorizing rather than requiring counties to establish these teams would allow counties to use their limited resources as they best see fit for their communities.

For more on 2019 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.