MANA and the Mamas First Act

MANA and the Mamas First Act

Earlier this year, Midwives Alliance was contacted by the office of Rep Gwen Moore (WI-4) to help develop a bill to define doulas and midwives in the United States Social Security Act (SSA), which will improve access to Medicaid reimbursement for services. With input from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), the credentialing agency for the Certified Professional midwife (CPM), we drafted simple language defining the types of midwives not currently included in the SSA. These newly defined midwives include CPMs, licensed midwives, and Certified Midwives (CMs) as accredited by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) as well as tribally recognized midwives. As the only professional midwifery association representing all types of midwives, it was important for us to include all midwives duly recognized in their jurisdictions. It was also important that the bill language did not impose barriers to those midwives currently practicing and receiving Medicaid reimbursement under state regulations. HR 2751, the Mamas First Act, was introduced on May 15th, 2019. It was sponsored by Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-1), and Congresswoman Debbie Dingle (MI-12). The bill introduction coincided with the House Ways and Means committee hearing on maternal mortality. MANA President Vicki Hedley and I attended the hearing, entitled OVERCOMING RACIAL DISPARITIES AND SOCIAL DETERMINANTS IN THE MATERNAL MORTALITY CRISIS, in Washington DC on May 16th, 2019. We heard powerful personal stories regarding the dismal and rising rate of maternal morbidity and mortality in our country, particularly for birthing families of color. MANA submitted written testimony with our recommendations for increasing the midwifery workforce and supporting HR 2751 as solutions to the crisis. We had the opportunity to meet with Representative Moore at the hearing and pledged our support for the bill that has the potential to speed the forward movement of the midwifery profession. We urge you to do the same by asking your legislators to co-sponsor or support the bill, sharing with your networks, and encouraging your clients to do so as well. Respectfully submitted, Colleen Donovan-Batson, MS, CNM, ARNP Director, Division of Health Policy and Advocacy

Author: 
Colleen Donovan-Batson, CNM, MS
Director of Health Policy and Advocacy

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