The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents significant opportunities for state maternal and child health (MCH) programs and their partners to improve the health care delivery system, assure that women, children and families have access to quality health care, and promote health equity. The scope and impact of the ACA continues to evolve, as provisions are implemented and legislative, judicial and executive branch modifications are made. AMCHP's HST team provides policy and programmatic support to state MCH programs, as they continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by health reform for women, children, including children with special health care needs (CSHCN), and their families.
Health Systems Transformation Team:
Health Systems Transformation (HST) is AMCHP's newest program team. The HRI team staffs AMCHP's National Center for Health Reform Implementation. The HST team supports state Title V programs in optimizing health reform opportunities to improve the well-being of women, children, including children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), and their families. The team's project portfolio includes the National MCH Workforce Development Center (Access to Care and Systems Integration Cores); Alliance for Innovation in Maternal and Child Health (MCHB AIM grant); and the AMCHP Kellogg Foundation project (Women's Access to Care component). The team works closely with AMCHP policy staff on ACA legislative and regulatory issues; represents AMCHP in health reform and MCH policy coalitions; and provides consultation and support to other AMCHP teams on heath reform issues that affect MCH populations.
Our work is organized around the following five cross-cutting themes:
Through online resources, technical assistance and consultation with AMCHP members, our National Center and Policy Team staff can provide you with the resources you need to understand the impact of the ACA and implement key MCH provisions.
AMCHP Comments on Essential Health Benefits
On Sept. 30 AMCHP submitted this letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging them to consider the unique health care needs of children, particularly children with special health care needs, as they review state Essential Health Benefit (EHB) benchmark choices. We joined other MCH advocates expressing concern that the EHB benchmark approach does not ensure children and youth have access to a comprehensive set of benefits that meets their needs. Therefore, it is especially important that CMS review proposed 2017 benchmark plans for their specific approach to benefits for children, including but not limited to the pediatric services and rehabilitative and habilitative services categories.
AMCHP Comments on MCH Transformation
AMCHP submitted comments on Aug. 26 to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (MCHB/HRSA) commending them for their leadership and providing feedback on efforts to transform the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant. Please find our comments in response to Federal Register Notice here.
National Webinar on the MCHB/HRSA Proposed Title V MCH Servic es Block Grant Guidance
The Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs in partnership with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration sponsored a series of three consecutive national webinars on the proposed Title V Maternal and Child Health Services (MCH) Block Grant guidance, as outlined in the June Federal Register Notice (FRN).
This interactive national webinar featured:
Click here to access the recording of the webinar.
Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Transformation, Part II
At this year’s Block Grant reviews, Dr. Michael Lu shared a video regarding the MCH Transformation. This video is intended to continue the effort to share information about the MCH Block Grant Transformation as it moves forward. Click here to acess the video. You may also find it on the MCHB homepage for your further use.
Transformation of the Title V Block Grant Listening Sessions and Comment Period
On Jan. 6, 7, and 8, AMCHP hosted three listening sessions to allow an opportunity for Title V leaders to provide feedback on Dr. Lu’s recent video release presenting a framework for the transformation of the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant.
The PowerPoint presentation used during these listening sessions can be found here.
AMCHP encourages everyone to watch Dr. Lu’s video presentation and attend the Town Hall Meeting during the AMCHP annual conference. Dr. Lu will be continuing to take comments via MCHTransformation@hrsa.gov.
Additionally as a reference, please find three memos written by AMCHP in consultation with AMCHP Board members written to Dr. Lu for his consideration in the transformation of the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant:
New Resources from the National Center
This section features our newest publications and resources on ACA implementation and MCH. Additional resources may be found on our National Center Resources page. To view AMCHP's comments on regulations or legislation go to our Federal Affairs and Advocacy page.
AMCHP Releases National Standards for Improving Quality Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
Creating a comprehensive, quality system of care for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) has been one of the most challenging areas for many state health leaders. The Affordable Care Act has further heightened this need as states are extending coverage to millions of uninsured children and adults, designing essential health benefits, and implementing new provisions to achieve the “Triple Aim” of improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing health care costs. The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), with support from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, has just released a groundbreaking set of standards designed to help communities, states, and the nation build and improve systems of care for CYSHCN. To view a background white paper about the development of the standards and the full set of standards, click here.
Connecting the Dots to Improve Birth Outcomes: Key Considerations and Recommendations from a National Meeting
While the United States has made some gains in improving infant and maternal mortality rates over the past several decades, nationally these rates remain high and significant disparities still exist. Fortunately renewed interest and public and private investments in improving birth outcomes have resulted in a groundswell of momentum, initiatives, recommendations, and activities at the national, state and local levels. These include initiatives of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality (SACIM), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials President’s Challenge, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Collaborative Improvement & Innovation Network (CoIIN) to Reduce Infant Mortality, March of Dimes Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative and investments by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation including the Every Woman Southeast initiative and Best Babies Zones. These efforts vary in their focus and include:
reforms to health care systems and their financing
public awareness campaigns
quality improvement projects, collaborative learning among states and community engagement in place-based programs
These multiple and varied initiatives presented an important and needed opportunity for the leaders of these efforts to coalesce and discuss how to effectively coordinate and maximize the impact of these efforts, particularly for states and community groups. To this end, in July 2013, with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AMCHP convened nearly 50 leaders representing federal health agencies, state departments of health and Medicaid agencies, professional associations, provider groups, nonprofit leaders, think tanks, private funders, and academia in Washington, DC. The proceedings of the meeting can be found here.
AMCHP Releases Non-Medically Indicated Delivery Issue Brief
In recent years, increased attention and energy has focused on reducing infant mortality and improving birth outcomes in the United States. Both public and private organizations are investing time and funds on many fronts and in various methods and on many jurisdictional levels. This issue brief focuses on the recent efforts to reduce non-medically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks gestation and various methods that state Title V MCH programs are utilizing to improve birth outcomes. This brief features the work of California, Texas, and North Carolina. This project is part of a national project, Optimizing Health Reform to Improve Birth Outcomes, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to strengthen the capacity of state Title V MCH programs and their partners to improve birth outcomes and infant health through health reform and is part of the National Center for Health Reform Implementation work.
Benefits and Eligibility for MCH Populations Explained in Three Easy Charts!
Open enrollment for ACA health insurance plans began on Oct. 1, 2013, with new plans beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. State Title V MCH programs can play a role in educating women, children and their families about projected eligibility levels for various health insurance coverage options as well as eligibility for minimum health plan benefit levels. State MCH programs also can begin to anticipate where there may be potential gaps in health insurance coverage and benefits for MCH populations.
AMCHP created a fact sheet designed to assist state MCH programs in these efforts. The easy-to-follow charts depict the federal minimum eligibility levels for each income scenario, including identified and potential gaps in eligibility for MCH populations both with and without Medicaid expansion. The fact sheet also is designed to be interactive with hyperlinks to direct readers to detailed resources as well as source documents. The fact sheet lays out the projected minimum or essential health insurance benefits for MCH populations, including children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), for each of the following coverage options or scenarios: Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), insurance purchased through the health insurance marketplace (aka health insurance exchange), and safety-net services for those remaining uninsured.
The fact sheet provides an overview of federal benefit and coverage requirements under the ACA. However, the actual benefits package, cost sharing and affordability for families will vary widely depending on the state.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
Summary of Key Maternal and Child Health Related Highlights with Updates on Status of Implementation(Updated, February 2013)
This AMCHP Fact Sheet summarizes the implementation of key maternal and child health provisions of the ACA. Click here to access this document.
Optimizing Health Reform to Integrate Service Delivery Systems for Women, Children and their families (Webinar, October 2011)
On October 12, 2011 AMCHP hosted a webinar in partnership and supported by The Commonwealth Fund entitled Optimizing Health Reform to Integrate Service Delivery Systems for Women, Children and their families. This webinar highlighted the efforts of state Title V maternal and child health programs and their partners to integrate health care service delivery systems. An archive of the webinar and a copy of the slides is now available on line. The full webinar recording can be accessed here. The webinar slides can be accessed here.
As a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization AMCHP complies fully with all Federal regulations, restrictions and established practices governing advocacy and lobbying activities. No Federal funding is used to engage in any lobbying activities and all legislative activities are closely monitored and audited for compliance with all relevant legislation. If you have questions about AMCHP's specific lobbying activities please contact our Director of Policy (see the "Advocacy Contacts" link to the left).