New Public Service Announcement on Funding for Birth Centers - Please Share!
By Christine Cupaiuolo — December 19, 2008
Massachusetts State Rep. Kay Kahn has recorded a 30-second public service announcement urging Medicaid funding for birth centers. Have a listen:
Please feel free to use this PSA on your website, or encourage your local radio station to air it. The PSA is sponsored by Our Bodies Ourselves and the American Association of Birth Centers.
“Medicaid wants to cut funding for birth centers, where midwives give families personalized care,” says Kahn, who is also a registered nurse. “Help me fight for safe cost-effective birthing options. Visit BirthCenters.org and tell your legislators to support choices for mothers.”
Kahn is referring to the fact that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — the federal agency that runs Medicare/Medicaid — is refusing to pay the federal percentage of Medicaid payments that states might make to birth centers. This marks a major policy shift, as birth centers have been recognized as a Medicaid provider type in State Medicaid Plans since 1987.
As we’ve writen before, the AABC has been rallying support for legislation to direct CMS to pay birth center facility fees. Your help is still needed. Contact your legislator by Dec. 22.
About 30% of the clients at the freestanding birth center where I trained in Florida were on Medicaid. They had fantastic outcomes at the birth center, I think easily much better than outcomes of comparable patients in the public hospital.