The American Association of Birth Centers is asking everyone to help with grassroots support in their efforts to get federal legislation that would include birth center facility fees for Medicaid reimbursement. Without this, many birth centers, especially those that serve many Medicaid clients, would have to close. While some state Medicaid programs have reimbursed birth centers in the past, more recently the federal government has taken actions to stop states from including this reimbursement because it is not specified in federal legislation. You can find more information about birth centers and the bill at "Materials to Help You Communicate with Your Legislators."
Please read the message below, which spells out exactly what is needed. All it will take on your part is a couple of phone calls to help make sure that freestanding birth centers can continue to offer women an excellent choice for maternity care.
Thanks for your help!
Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”
From the American Association of Birth Centers:
How to Help AABC Lobby for the Birth Center Medicaid Bill
The American Association of Birthing Centers (AABC) is seeking federal legislation that would add freestanding birth centers to the list of health professionals and providers eligible for payment under the federal-state Medicaid program. Medicaid is the primary source of payment for maternity care services for low income women; in many states, nearly half of all pregnant women are Medicaid beneficiaries. The Federal law that lists all Medicaid-eligible providers is section 1905(a) of the Social Security Act. Although hospitals, physicians, nurse-midwives, clinics, and others are among those listed, birth centers are not. This means that birth centers cannot be reimbursed for the facility fees they charge, which are like hospital facility fees, but much less money.
Next week, AABC’s bill will be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Susan Davis (D., CA) (San Diego). It will then be assigned a bill number and an official name. We will let you know when that happens, but don’t wait to make your calls. AABC is asking all birth professionals, birth advocates, and supporters of improving maternity care to help us lobby for this bill. Grassroots support phone calls to Congress is the single most important element in whether a bill like this becomes law.
Please help. It’s easy. (See #4 below for how to find out who your Congresspeople are.) Here’s all you have to do:
Thanks so much for your help.