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CMS Seeking Public Comment on Improving Maternal & Infant Health Care in Rural Communities

CMS has recently published a Request for Information, seeking public comments regarding opportunities to improve health care access, quality, and outcomes for women and infants in rural communities before, during, and after pregnancy. This includes the reduction of health disparities across this time frame between rural and urban communities, within rural communities, and racial and ethnic disparities within rural communities. This notice also includes a request for information to seek public comments regarding readiness of rural providers, including emergency medical services (EMS), to handle obstetric emergencies (i.e., emergencies related to pregnancy, birth, and after birth) in rural areas.

CMS is requesting information from stakeholders related to the following questions:

  1. What barriers exist in rural communities in trying to improve access, quality of care, and outcomes in prenatal, obstetrical, and postpartum care?
  2. What opportunities are there to improve the above areas (i.e., access, quality and outcomes)?
  3. What initiatives, including community-based efforts, have shown a positive impact on addressing barriers or maximizing opportunities?
  4. How can CMS/HHS support these efforts?

All comments should be submitted electronically to ruralmaternalrfi@cms.hhs.gov.  To be assured consideration, comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 12, 2020.

Click here to see the official Request for Information.