7 Aug 2022


Improving Access to Maternity Care Act

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The bill was introduced in the house in January 2017 and was passed without any amendment on 9 January 2017. The bill progressed to Congress without any amendment. If the Senate passes the bill and the president sanctions it into law, it will ensure there is more allocation of healthcare professionals to the area of maternity care in the areas considered to have a shortage. Bipartisan representatives Michael Burgess and Anna Eshoo who are a Republican and Democrat introduced the bill into Congress. The bill passed with a 405 -0 ( Republican Policy Committee, 2017) . The vote fell under the ‘suspension of rules’ procedure that usually applies to the non-controversial bills. 

The provisions of the bill are that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to ensure the collection of data to better place maternity healthcare professionals. The current situation is one that means that nurses can participate in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) but the challenge is that they are not always placed in areas where they are needed ( Republican Policy Committee, 2017) . The NHSC usually places professionals taking part in their Loan Repayment Program, which requires a two-year commitment in areas where is shortages. The bill aims guarantees a better allocation of maternity health care providers who already take part in the NHSC Loan repayment program. They would be taken to areas considered to be in more dire need of the professionals. Of importance is that the change proposed by the bill does not expand participation in the NHSC. 

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NHSC aims to ensure there is an increase in the availability of the primary care services in populations that experience shortages. The program’s objective is to ensure an increase in healthcare professional availability by providing individuals with a loan repayment program as well as scholarship awards to some individuals. This happens to those who agree to work at some of the approved sites. The NHSC practitioners may include nurses, physicians, and mental health professionals who have to work for a minimum of two years in a facility that has been approved by the NHSC. Based on research, every year, about one million children are born of mothers who did not receive adequate prenatal care. Such babies are more likely to have low birth weight and dying ass compared to those born of mothers who received adequate prenatal care (American Nurses Association, 2015). The bill is to call on HRSA to look for areas in need of more health care practitioners who are already taking part in the NHSC Loan Program. The bill is considered an amendment to the Public Health Service Act. The Public Health Service Act calls for the dispersion of care to those areas that have little access. 

If it passes, it will have an impact on professional nursing practice standard. This is through the provision of a larger workforce for maternity care. The implication is that graduate-level Registered Nurses can provide the required leadership in the coordination of inter-professional healthcare in the delivery of healthcare ( GovTrack.us, 2017) . The bill will ensure there is the provision of safe, effective, efficient, as well as patient-centered care to all individuals in the country. Some remote areas in rural America would have better maternity health if more nursing practitioners were assigned if the bill passed. 

The demand for RNs will increase; more people will join the nursing profession and those already in will advance education for them to be available for advanced RNs. Acquiring a scholarship and a loan repayment program is economical as compared to not taking the training at all ( GovTrack.us, 2017) . The bill could create a path towards the attainment of the number of professionals who are needed in the country. What is clear is that nurses have to ensure there is a constant attempt to increase their knowledge as the health care system continues becoming complex. 

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) has a longstanding priority to ensure easy access to care for every woman. The access should be from a woman’s healthcare provider. The ACNM also seeks to determine some of the areas in the country that experience shortages of professionals in maternity care. It is also the priority of the ACNM to improve the geographical representation of the healthcare providers. This helps in alleviating the significant pressures that are experienced by various communities. The aim is to ensure there are enough professionals to serve the growing number of women who in the country ( American Nurses Association, 2015) . Nurses have a role to play in maternal care and to reduce the number of children born to mothers who receive inefficient prenatal care. 

The number of women who go unseen by the maternity care health professionals is on the rise. The passing of the bill would make sure that all areas in the country have RNs assigned in maternity care and maternal health would be included in research for equitable distribution ( American Nurses Association, 2015 . Increasing access to maternal health reduces the chances of the children dying. With the improve healthcare status for this population, the government will have set pace within which it can have a healthy citizenry and a reduced costs on claims for treating preventable diseases. 


American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author. 

GovTrack.us. (2017). H.R. 315 — 115 th Congress: Improving access to maternity care act. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr315 

Republican Policy Committee. (2017). H.R. 315, Improving Access to Maternity Care Act. Retrieved from https://policy.house.gov/legislative/bills/hr-315-improving-access-maternity-care-act 

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