NJ governor signs 4 bills aimed at improving maternity care

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed four bills into law aimed at improving maternal health care, particularly for residents using Medicaid.

The Democrat signed the measures Wednesday at University Hospital in Newark.

The new laws were enacted just a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study showing pregnancy-related deaths are rising and that being black is a main risk factor.

One measure provides for Medicaid to cover doulas. Another sets up a pilot program for perinatal care for those on Medicaid.

The third bill bars early, elective deliveries that are not medically necessary for those on Medicaid and on the state's health benefits plans.

The final measure codifies a current practice by requiring perinatal risk assessment forms be filled out by Medicaid providers.