Birth Centers closing to Medicaid? HELP STOP THIS! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got this in an email from my midwife. This is bad. WAY bad.
Just one more government step being made to order us to have a birth THEY want, rather than one WE want! They need to be stopped.






American Association of Birth Centers

Legislative Alert







Payment Crisis Looming ~ Action Needed Immediately

Dear Iain,

We must get our message about the payment crisis out to Congress immediately and we need everyone to help!

Over the past few years, CMS (the federal agency that runs Medicaid/Medicare) has begun disallowing federal matching funds for state Medicaid payments for freestanding birth centers services. Birth centers have been recognized by CMS (and earlier, by HCFA) as a Medicaid provider type in State Medicaid Plans since 1987. Recently, however, CMS has di sallowed such payment by several state Medicaid Agencies, including Alaska, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington State, claiming that it lacks clear statutory authority and direction to do so. CMS has directed its regional offices to stop federal payments to any state for birth center services.

This is not a Medicaid crisis but a payment crisis for birth centers. Historically all payers follow the lead of Medicaid. If Medicaid stops paying the birth center facility fee so will other insurers. We remind you of what happened to the chiropractors in the 1990s. They spent millions to reinstate their coverage.

Make Your Voice Heard - Act Now!

1. Find out who your Congressional Representatives and Senators are. Use these links

* Find your Senators - http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...nators_cfm.cfm
* Find your Representatives - http://www.house.gov/ - use the tool in the upper left hand corner
* The American College of Nurse-Midwives also has a tool on their website - http://capwiz.com/acnm/dbq/officials/?lvl=C

2. Make contact - by phone is best (email boxes are clogged with email about the federal bailout of the banks).

* Ask to speak to the legislative aide who works on health care issues.
* Tell him/her you are a birth center ________ (midwife, owner, consumer, staff person) that provides care to women on Medicaid.
* Use the linked flyer ("Pregnant Women's Access to Care Threatened") as a reference.

=0 A

Talking Points



1) CMS has stopped paying the facility fee/charges for birth centers in four states and will disallow it in all state plans that come up for review.


2) The federal government has been paying these fees to the states since 1987.



3) The only way to solve this problem is to seek legislation amending Medicaid.



4) Birth centers are part of the vital safety net, especially in rural and urban areas where obstetrical services are closing due to high costs--and many serve a high percentage of women on Medicaid.



5) Birth centers provide innovative approaches to maternity care that reduce disparities for low income and minority women, lower cesarean rates, and reduce health care costs, while increasing access to women on Medicaid.


6) Discuss how your birth center meets some of these needs in your area.



7) Follow the list on the flyer and d iscuss as many of those points as you want to cover.



8) For a bill, we need sponsors and co-sponsors. Ask if your Senator or Representative is willing to sponsor or co-sponsor the needed legislation to direct CMS to pay facility fees.
a. If they say YES, thank them and direct them to Karen Fennell,
our lobbyist at 301-830-3910 or [email protected]
b. If they say NO, ask them why not and give them Karen's contact
information.



9) Ask for their email so you can send a copy of the flyer "Pregnant Women's Access to Care Threatened". Let them know you will stay in touch with them about this issue, and that you will let them know once our bill has been introduced.



10) If they ask questions you cannot answer, tell them you will have Karen Fennell, our lobbyist contact them.



Follow-Up



1) Notify AABC's lobbyist - Karen Fennell - who you have contacted and where they stand on sponsorship. Also relay any questions from your visit so that Karen can follow-up. Cc: Jill Alliman, AABC's Legislative Chair, on your correspondence.

* Karen Fennell's contact information:
Phone: 301-830-3910 ~ Email: [email protected]
* Jill Alliman's contact information:
Phone: 423-442-6624 ~ Email: [email protected]


2) Send a thank you note, with the flyer "Pregnant Women's Access to Care Threatened". Let them know you will stay in touch with them about this issue, and that you will let them know once the bill has been introduced.

Do not delay. Take action today. It will be hard to be heard with the economic crisis in Congress this week. If enough of us call, they will hear us.



If you have questions about how to make these calls, please let me know.



Please forward this email to your lists.




Sincerely,



How to Start a Birth Center Workshops
Jill Alliman, CNM, MSN

Legislative Chair

American Association of Birth Centers
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#2 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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Medicaid already doesn't cover birth centers in my state :P

Kara mommy to Jason 9/27/04 ribboncesarean.gif, Jacob 6/1/06 vbac.gif, Nathan 11/13/08 ribboncesarean.gif, and twin boys Isaac and Caleb born 1/10/11 vbac.gif
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#3 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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what states lets medicade pay for BC births?
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#4 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 02:14 PM
 
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Years ago Texas did. Like 12 years ago. I had a birth center birth and it was paid by medicaid. I doubt they still do though.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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There is only one OB practice ( with midwives) that will accept medicaid payments where I live. They pay much less than private insurance so my Docs wont take patients unless they prepay or they have private insurance. Thats just one of those things that if you use govenment funded insurance you have to follow their rules.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#6 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing this! I recommend cross-posting in the Activism forum.

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#7 of 8 Old 09-25-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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That is terrible. I used medicaid for both of my pregnancies and had two beautiful babies in a local birth center staffed by licensed midwives. I am SO GLAD I didn't to have a hospital birth. There is a very good chance that had I been in OB care with my first I would have certainly been induced, if they had allowed me to naturally go into labor as I did, I would have probably had a c-section due to some complications that arose due to my daughter's presentation (her head got stuck at an angle and my cervix started to swell-luckily my midwife knew exactly what to do and my daughter was born fine, although a little squashed). The last time I checked (a year ago?) medicaid still paid for out of hospital births in my state, although I don't know about home births. I know that with my first they would have paid for a home birth had I wanted one; not sure if that policy still existed when I was pregnant with my second.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#8 of 8 Old 09-26-2008, 01:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelpie545 View Post
The last time I checked (a year ago?) medicaid still paid for out of hospital births in my state, although I don't know about home births. I know that with my first they would have paid for a home birth had I wanted one; not sure if that policy still existed when I was pregnant with my second.
I am on medicade, New Jersey, and my midwife did get paid something from my HMO, but she had to send it in like twice. Now she is going, o well you did not pay me for newborn care, and trying to see if she can get alittle more. So thats more the HMO, but I am going to try and get to to go through the medicade its self, and see if she can get anything.
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