The Decision Packet for the Governor’s Budget regarding Doulas For All Washington, which would offer reimbursement to birth doulas through Medicaid, was approved at a surprising but encouraging rate, indicating a sustainable reimbursement wage for birth doulas. Stakeholders in this ongoing coalition will be working in the coming months to determine implementation and guidelines for reimbursement under MSS/Medicaid.
You can read the complete decision package as submitted here.

The goals for covering doula services in Washington under MSS are to:

  • Reduce disparities in birth outcomes amongst racial, ethnic, and geographic populations.
  • Improve birth outcomes for mothers and babies by reducing preterm birth, low birth weight, cesarean sections; shortening labors; reducing the need for interventions such as pain medication, vaginal operative delivery; the consequences of morbidities such as severe lacerations, and hemorrhage; and improved success with breastfeeding and length of time providing breast milk to infants.
  • Align with efforts to increase the number of clients that have access to home visits and increase the number of home visits a pregnant and postpartum mother receives.
  • Seize on the opportunity that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has allowed two other states to cover doula services to propose a sustainable model of covering doula services that CMS may accept.
  • Provide reimbursement support to existing doula programs in Washington State that are serving communities with high disparities such as African Americans, Native Americans, and clients with substance use disorder and to encourage the development of more programs.
  • Align with the growing support from the Governor, Legislature, advocates, and stakeholders around using evidenced based and informed solutions to improve perinatal outcomes.

Supporting Organizations include: Open Arms Perinatal Services, Somali Doulas Northwest, Rainier Valley Community Clinic, Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, Prevention & Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth (PATTCh), PALS Doulas, Surge Reproductive Justice, Legal Voice, Midwives Association of Washington State, Amerigroup, Swedish, Providence Health & Services, Northwest Washington, PEPS – Program for Early Parent Support, HealthCare Authority, Q/tpoc Birthwerq Project, Seattle Indian Health Board, United Nations of ALL Tribes, Native American Women’s Dialogue on Infant Mortality, DONA Intl., Providence St. Joseph Health, Health Coalition for Children and Youth, et.al.