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News & Press: Weekly News Brief

AABC News Brief - MAR 20 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kate Bauer

3 things you need to know

1. AABC's Focus During COVID-19 Pandemic

2. Freestanding Birth Centers Offer Options During COVID-19 Pandemic

3. Federal Action to Address the Coronavirus Crisis

 

1. AABC's Focus During COVID-19 Pandemic

AABC Toolkit: COVID-19We hear the concern and uncertainty you may be feeling about the coronavirus (COVID-19). One of the most important things you can do right now is to stay informed from trusted resources. Our goal is to help you have the information you need to run your birth centers as safely and efficiently as possible and to assure you, as your national organization, we are here to help you through this pandemic.

At AABC we are focused on three things: first supporting our members through this uncertain time with helpful resources and information, secondly providing information to places such as media, states and legislators, and thirdly continue operating as an organization so when COVID-19 passes we are already operating at capacity and able to move forward with confidence.

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2. Freestanding Birth Centers Offer Options During COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our everyday worlds upside down. This is especially true for pregnant people who now are re-examining the risks and benefits of giving birth in the hospital setting and may be seeking alternatives. Freestanding birth centers have been associated with excellent outcomes in multiple studies and offer childbearing families another option for their pregnancy and birth care. With hospitals at risk of reaching capacity due to COVID-19 admissions, freestanding birth centers can help to provide care for lower risk pregnancy and birth.

AABC member birth centers across the country are seeing an increase in inquires due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are accepting late transfers, including in the third trimester, as long as the client has a low-risk pregnancy, regular prenatal care, and complete records.

Birth centers have taken precautions to reduce exposure to the virus including extra cleaning, telehealth prenatal visits, and limiting support people at the birth to two, to name a few.

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3. Federal Action to Address the Coronavirus Crisis

This week the Senate passed the second of three legislative packages planned to address the coronavirus, a bill the House of Representatives passed on March 16th (Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R.6201)).

H.R.6201 responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.

Further, the bill also includes provisions that:

  • establish a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak,
  • expand unemployment benefits and provide grants to states for processing and paying claims,
  • require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees,
  • establish requirements for providing coronavirus diagnostic testing at no cost to consumers,
  • treat personal respiratory protective devices as covered countermeasures that are eligible for certain liability protections, and
  • temporarily increase the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).

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