The cost of creating and maintaining a Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) depends on many factors and doesn’t follow a specific formula. It depends on how a state administers its fatality review programs, the number of pregnancy-associated deaths that occur in each year, the scope of the committee, and the extent of information abstracted.
MMRCs receive support and funding from various sources. In 2019, the CDC Division of Reproductive Health announced the award of more than $45 million over five years to support the work of Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRCs) through the Enhancing Reviews and Surveillance to Eliminate Maternal Mortality (ERASE MM) program. The ERASE MM program provided 24 awards supporting MMRC efforts in 25 states. This funding complements the support states rely on from other sources, including the Title V MCH Services Block Grant administered by the state or territory health department. The CDC team also provides resources and support to MMRCs in the remaining 25 non-funded states. Additional funding sources include state funds, special grants, or initiative funds. Private organizations, such as philanthropic groups, foundations, and advocacy groups, can also serve as funding sources. MMRCs are compelled to be creative and resourceful in securing funds for their work. The following are examples of costs associated with creating or maintaining a MMRC.
Case abstractors may be paid as a percentage of their salary, or they may receive hourly compensation. Based on conversations with review committees, each individual case requires approximately 8–15 hours of a case abstractor’s time. Download the Abstraction and Case Review Time Cost Estimator to calculate costs associated with case abstraction and review. See also Model Abstractor Job Description.
Committee Coordinator/Administrator, Epidemiologist, and Database Manager
In nearly all jurisdictions, these salaried roles already exist in the home agency or organization. They are often wholly or partially funded by a state’s ERASE MM grant, or via an agreement that allows for a certain percentage of staff time to be allocated or provided to the committee. In some cases, MMRCs with dedicated funding contract roles to a partner organization.
Committee Member Compensation/Incentives
Committees may reimburse members for travel costs to attend meetings, provide meals, or provide continuing medical education (CME) or maintenance of certification (MOC) credits for committee members. Honoraria or expert consultant fees should be considered for community organizations and members whose home agency will not or cannot compensate for time spent as a member of the review.
Disseminating Findings and Taking Action
Convening partners to present the findings of the MMRC accelerates the implementation of the conclusions. Committees often overlook the funding required to disseminate findings (e.g. travel to present findings and priorities to local agencies/organizations or at professional conferences) or the programmatic funding necessary to implement a key finding from the review into population-based action.