Great news! The bill providing for Medicaid reimbursement for birth centers has now been introduced! This is the bill we've mentioned in several previous grassroots network messages. Birth centers are owned and operated by both Certified Professional Midwives and by Certified Nurse Midwives, provide high quality cost-effective care, and serve many Medicaid clients. A recent court ruling will eliminate reimbursement even in the states that have been reimbursing through Medicaid, which will result in many birth centers closing. So this bill ties right in with the Obama Administration's aims for health care reform: to increase access to care that is high quality and cost-effective, that saves us money, that is prevention-oriented and evidence-based.
Below is a Legislative Alert from the American Association of Birth Centers. AABC can use everyone's help lining up additional co-sponsors for the bill in the House, and identifying sponsors in the Senate, where the bill has not yet been introduced.
For background , see this link.
For more information see the topics listed here.
Susan Hodges, "gatekeeper"
U.S. Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) have introduced the Medicaid Birth Center Reimbursement Act to ensure Medicaid birth center facility fee payments to states.
Today, President Obama announced that health care leaders have pledged to save the nation $2 trillion in the next 10 years. Birth centers are part of the solution to our soaring maternity care costs, and they also provide a safety net for Medicaid women. This is not the time to be discontinuing payment to facilities that provide safe, cost-effective care for healthy women with Medicaid
All or our work is paying off, however, we still have much to do to pass this legislation.
1) Call your U.S. Representatives and Senators
Ask your Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 2358 The Medicaid Birth Center Reimbursement Act. Ask your Senators to sponsor a Senate Bill
Click here for information on How to Contact Your Legislators in 6 Easy Steps.
2) Continue to spread the word/collect signatures for the Consumer Letter
[NOTE: this letter was the subject of Grassroots Network Message 905022: Sign AABC letter to Support Birth Centers]
We are over half way to our goal of 10,000 signatures by May 31st. Let's keep the momentum going. Spread the word via email, facebook, put the letter in your waiting rooms, on your websites. Make our voices heard!
Download the letter to put in your waiting room or anywhere else people gather.
Sign on the letter on the web.
Put a link to the letter on your website:
3) Continue to collect signatures for the Physician Letter from our friends in the medical community. Legislators want to know that we have support from physicians.
We need EVERYONE to take action and ensure that our bill is passed as soon as possible!
Jill Alliman, CNM, MSN
Chair, Legislative Committee
American Association of Birth Centers