Overview of US Maternal Mortality Policy

Jennifer C. Villavicencio, Katherine W. McHugh, Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The maternal mortality rate in the United States has been rising for many years, putting the United States out of step with peer countries. This article provides an overview of current policy and policy issues aimed at improving the maternal mortality rate in the United States. Methods: [List of databases, eg, PubMed] were searched for articles published between [range publication years searched]. The reference lists of identified articles were searched manually for additional papers eligible for inclusion. Findings: Although maternal mortality affects people across demographics, and medical causes of pregnancy-related death have remained largely stable, there are significantly worse outcomes in people of color. Solutions for improving the US MMR are just as complex. Implications: Using data to make changes in care delivery systems, paired with attention to the impact that social determinants of health have on maternal health outcomes, can help to close the demographic, racial, and geographic gaps in maternal mortality. Harnessing national efforts to standardize health care delivery, including protocol-based care, mandatory case reporting and review, and guidelines on transferring to a risk-appropriate health care setting in high-risk patients also have the potential to directly affect the rising MMR. (Clin Ther. 2020; 42:XXX–XXX)

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Therapeutics
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • health policy
  • maternity
  • mortality
  • policymaking
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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