OLR Bill Analysis

SB 304

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A MATERNITY MORTALITY REVIEW COMMITTEE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH.

SUMMARY

This bill establishes a Maternity Mortality Review Panel within the Department of Public Health (DPH) to review maternal deaths in Connecticut, identify associated factors, and make recommendations for improving women's health care services. Starting January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the panel must annually report its findings and recommendations to DPH and the Public Health Committee.

Under the bill, a “maternal death” is the death of a woman (1) while pregnant or (2) within one year after the date when the woman ceases to be pregnant, regardless of whether the death is related to her pregnancy.

The bill establishes related reporting and medical records requirements for licensed health care providers, health care facilities, and pharmacies. It also grants these individuals and entities immunity from civil or criminal liability or disciplinary action for good faith efforts to comply with the bill's provisions.

The bill also makes technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

MATERNAL MORTALITY REVIEW PANEL

Membership

Under the bill, the Maternity Mortality Review Panel must include at least the following 11 members:

1. three licensed physicians, one each who specializes in obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, and neonatology;

2. one licensed nurse-midwife;

3. one epidemiologist affiliated with DPH's Epidemiology and Emerging Infections Program, who has experience analyzing perinatal data;

4. one DPH representative who participates in the department's maternal and child health needs assessment;

5. the Chief Medical Examiner, or his designee;

6. one community mental health center representative;

7. one representative of a community or regional program or facility that provides services to individuals with psychiatric disabilities or substance use disorders;

8. a relative of a Connecticut resident who died of a maternal death; and

9. the DPH commissioner, or his designee.

Panel members serve three-year terms without compensation, but may be reimbursed for related reasonable and necessary expenses. The bill requires the panel to meet at least biannually and select its chairperson from among its members.

Duties

Under the bill, the panel must:

1. identify maternal death cases in Connecticut and review related medical records and other relevant data;

2. contact family members of each woman who died of a maternal death and any other affected persons to collect additional relevant data;

3. consult with relevant experts to evaluate information obtained in the panel's review of each maternal death case; and

4. make recommendations on preventing such deaths.

MEDICAL RECORDS AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Under the bill, licensed health care providers, health care facilities, and pharmacies must provide the Maternal Mortality Review Panel reasonable access to all relevant medical records associated with maternal death cases the panel reviews. But they cannot disclose personally identifiable information if doing so would violate federal law (e.g., HIPAA).

Additionally, if a provider or facility knows the circumstances of a maternal death, the bill requires them to report the death to the panel. These reports are (1) confidential, (2) not subject to disclosure or public inspection, and (3) not subject to subpoena or discovery or introduction into evidence in a judicial proceeding, unless it is specifically provided by law and the court record is sealed.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

20

Nay

7

(03/19/2018)