Reimbursement for Birth Centers: Ask Congress to Act Now
By Christine Cupaiuolo — December 2, 2008
We’ve written before about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — the federal agency that runs Medicare/Medicaid — refusing to pay the federal percentage of Medicaid payments that states might make to birth centers.
Now, the American Association of Birth Centers, which had called our attention to the funding issue, is stepping up efforts to get Congress to mandate the birth center facility fee. The AABC is asking midwives, birth center staff members and clients to contact their representatives and senators by Dec. 10:
Each and every one of you must take action to put birth centers on the Congressional radar. The birth center community must take the lead on this — Congress won’t take any action for us unless it hears from its constituents. […]
Right now, Rep. Susan Davis (CA) will sponsor the bill and Rep. Lois Capps (CA) will co-sponsor, but we need many more — including Republicans so it has bi-partisan support. […] On the House side, ask Democrats to co-sponsor our bill which would add Birth Centers to Medicaid covered services. (Our bill does not have a number yet). Ask House Republicans to be a sponsor or lead. On the Senate side, we need leads and sponsors in both parties.
This is an issue of great importance to Our Bodies Ourselves, so again we’d like to urge anyone who believes in the right to choose her own birth site to get involved.
Money is the major reason that two of the three birth centers in my area- despite much protest from patients and providers- have been closed down. There is definitely a need for this mandate…