In early 2019 PALS Doulas partnered with local, state, and national agencies to advance Medicaid coverage and reimbursement for doula support services with Washington state residents. As of 2019, 12 states had active or pending legislation in the pipeline to support of Medicaid Reimbursement. Funding support for doulas to date has been largely private or with organizations like Open Arms Perinatal Services, whose services are supported via grants and donations. The Legislative Partners (named below) have been working over the past two years to guide the early processes around desired outcomes, pathways for reimbursement, and community involvement.
If you are interested in participating in the conversation please contact Jackie Vaughn (Surge Reproductive Justice), Co-Coordinator or Fajer Saeed Ebrahim, Co-Coordinator, 314-309-7116
The Governor Inslee’s proposed 2019- 2021 budget included funding requests for doula coverage under Medicaid. The Washington State Legislature evaluated Medicaid coverage of doula services as one solution to reduce racial disparities and improve birth outcomes, especially for those families who are most impacted by maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.
Thanks to the hard work of many plus the Doulas 4 All coalition, Medicaid reimbursement for doula services was passed in the 2019 Legislative Session.
The next steps are to answer the following questions:
- Program structure
- Medicaid doula’s defined standards of practice
- Reimbursement fees and fee schedules
- Implementation of billing and reimbursement systems
- Qualifications to become a Medicaid doula provider
- So much more
This program will only be successful if we have a rich and diverse involvement of all our state’s doulas in the program design and implementation phase of this important new program. It is especially critical to hear from the community doulas who work directly with the BIPOC families who are most severely impacted by current disparities.
Please contact PALS President Mariah Falin for more information or to get involved with PALS’ efforts to effect change as this program is implemented.
Check back frequently here to get current updates or follow along in the PALS “Legislative Corner” section of the PALS quarterly newsletter.
Native American Women’s Dialogue on Infant Mortality
Legislative progress in other states: