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News & Press: Weekly News Brief

AABC News Brief - NOV 22 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019   (0 Comments)

3 things you need to know

1. BABIES Act Introduced to Expand Access to Birth Centers

2. Helping MOMS Act Update

3. AABC Holds How to Start a Birth Center Workshop in Minnesota


1. BABIES Act Introduced to Expand Access to Birth Centers

Legislation seeks to improve availability of high-quality maternal care by building on successful pilot program

This week, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5), and Congressman Buddy Carter (GA-1) announced the Birth Access Benefiting Improved Essential Facility Services Act, or BABIES Act (H.B. 5189), a bill that would expand access to freestanding birth centers for Medicaid recipients.

Over half of U.S. counties have no hospital maternity unit, and maternal-child outcomes in the U.S. are among the worst of all developed nations. Freestanding, licensed birth centers can provide high quality care to women and families in low resource areas. Unfortunately, procedural obstacles disincentivize birth centers from accepting Medicaid beneficiaries, making it difficult for many women enrolled in Medicaid to access maternity care at these centers. The BABIES Act would establish demonstration model Birth and Health Centers in 6 states (to be determined) using a new payment model to provide women and infants access to the essential care they need.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable that Georgia has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the United States and something must be done,” said Carter. “This legislation will work to address this by better utilizing birth centers. By better utilizing birth centers, we can help to deliver better health outcomes in a more cost-efficient manner while providing more maternal health options. I’m very glad to introduce this legislation today with Representative Clark after working with birth centers in Savannah and Macon, GA.”

Learn more about the BABIES Act including how you can help advocate for it>>


2. Helping MOMS Act Update

Legislation would incentivize state-level Medicaid extension to the entire postpartum period and invest in maternal-specific public health

This week the House and Energy Commerce Committee passed legislation championed by Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) to address America's maternal mortality crisis. The Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services (MOMS) Act (H.R. 4996) was introduced by a bipartisan group of members of Congress who are committed to improving the United States’ alarmingly high maternal mortality rates. The CDC reports that approximately 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy-related complications.

“The bipartisan Helping MOMS Act is a historic step toward ensuring every mother in America has health coverage after giving birth, which will save lives and improve maternal outcomes,” said Rep. Underwood. “I am grateful to the countless organizations who work to improve the health of women and end intolerable health disparities: they are indispensable to ensuring this legislation results in improved outcomes for women – and Black women in particular. I am pleased to see my bill advanced out of the Energy and Commerce Committee and will continue to advocate and fight for policy solutions to save lives."

Learn more about the Helping MOMS Act>>


3. AABC Holds How to Start a Birth Center Workshop in Minnesota

This week AABC was in Minneapolis to teach our How to Start a Birth Center Workshop. More than 45 participants from 17 states attended the conference where they toured the nationally accredited Willow® Midwives and Birth Center and learned first-hand from the birth center midwives. Taught by birth center leaders with presentations from host birth centers, Willow® Midwives and Birth Center,  Minnesota Birth Center,  and Health Foundations Birth Center + Women's Health Clinic, the workshop provided participants with a comprehensive foundation for starting a birth center.

About the workshop, many participants commented that they appreciated the comprehensive information and materials presented and felt that opening a birth center was an accessible and attainable goal. They also shared that they were inspired and energized to protect physiologic birth.

The How to Start a Birth Center workshops are offered in three formats: online, in-person, and customized. Both the in-person and online workshops provide the same content, faculty and materials, and the registration fees are the same too. 

Learn more about the AABC How to Start a Birth Center Workshops.>>


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