Bill in Albany would reimburse doulas through Medicaid
Raga Justin reports in the Times Union that some lawmakers in Albany are discussing reimbursing the doulas who help women give birth through Medicaid. Doulas are trained professionals who help women through the stages of pregnancy and post-pregnancy complications. Rochester-based Democrat State Sen. Samra Brouk is sponsoring legislation that would direct the state Department of Health to create Medicaid reimbursement rates for doulas. There will be a hearing March 7 in the state senate to consider expanding Medicaid coverage for women who want to hire doulas to assist with their births. Brouk said she used a doula giving birth last year, and said, "When you think about it, we can't even get that part right — how to bring life into this world and take care of the birthing person who's bringing that life into this world." Doulas look out for women, sometimes preventing postpartum depression and death. The maternal mortality rates in the U.S. are higher than other high-income nations, and becoming higher since 2000. And Black women are about five times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, according to the Department of Health. Other states that have begun offering Medicaid reimbursements for doula services, according to Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. Read more about this story in the Times Union.