Doulas are a Critical Addition to Maternal Care Model
On June 9, Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) and the Pennsylvania Perinatal Quality Collaborative (PA PQC) staff met virtually with doulas, health plan representatives, national experts, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to identify opportunities for collaboration and to discuss supporting doula reimbursement and maternity value-based payment models. Since the last meeting in March, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on doulas and how they provide services. Doulas have been critical support partners through this especially stressful time for families and have been incredibly innovative in how they deliver services.
The call welcomed national experts Jennifer Moore, WHAMglobal Board Member, and Chloe Bakst from the Institute for Medicaid Innovation to offer insights learned through their recent report: Community-Based Maternal Support Services: The Role of Doulas and Community Health Workers in Medicaid. From a nationwide environmental scan of doulas and community health workers, the experts found that states, health plans, provider groups are expanding their maternal model to include these critical maternal health providers.
The group plans to continue discussions about reimbursement options that will maintain doulas' independence and autonomy while adding value to the maternal care model.