The San Juan Daily Star
González Colón co-sponsors bill on postpartum outcomes
By The Star Staff
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón joined U.S. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), along with Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Susan Wild (D-Pa.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), to introduce H.R. 2480, the Postpartum Outcomes Optimization Act.
The legislation seeks to improve maternal health after childbirth by directing the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue guidance on pelvic health physical therapy (PHPT) coverage for postpartum mothers under the Medicaid program as laid out in Title XIX of the Social Security Act.
Quality postpartum care for mothers is vital to their long-term health and well being, but many women suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction and diastasis recti, conditions that can be very painful.
The condition is treatable with pelvic health physical therapy; however, many women are unaware of the therapy available to them. When working with a pelvic health physical therapist, women receive a treatment plan to improve muscle control and mobility, aid in tissue repair, and recovery from C-sections.
“As a husband, father and grandfather, I recognize the importance of supporting women in postpartum,” Bacon said. “Our care for women should extend to postpartum recovery, to ensure they live without pain or discomfort, especially when available therapy is highly effective.”
HR 2480 would be a step toward making quality postpartum care available to all women. With some 3 million births in the United States each year, there are 3 million women who could benefit from pelvic health physical therapy in their recovery.
“H.R. 2480, the Postpartum Outcomes Optimization Act, co-led by my colleague Rep. Bacon, would expand health care services for postpartum women by improving awareness campaigns, treatment, and postpartum care options,” González Colón said. “Specifically, the bill promotes pelvic health and physical therapy for women after childbirth; this represents a great step to facilitate the recovery period and prevent other postpartum-related complications for women.”
The bill has the support of health professionals and physical therapists, including the American Physical Therapy Association, and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.