Reps. Crawley, Hicks-Hudson Introduce Legislation To Provide Medicaid Coverage Of Doula Services
Say doula services are a need for mothers and soon-to-be mothers

COLUMBUS—State Reps. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) and Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) today issued a statement on their recently introduced legislation to provide Medicaid reimbursement for doula services. The legislation allows the Medicaid program to cover services provided by a doula with a valid provider agreement who submits specific documentation to the Medicaid director meeting requirements including, but not limited to, proof that the doula has a current, valid certificate issued by a doula certification organization.

“As explained in the bill, ‘Doula services’ means physical, emotional, or educational support provided during the prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum periods, which are important parts in a young child and mother’s life,” said Hicks-Hudson. “As a founding member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, it is my honor to provide our mothers with Medicaid coverage of doula services.”

Currently, women in Ohio die at a ratio of 14.7 per 100,000 live births, mostly from preventable causes. Doula services are one of the methods that can assist with decreasing these stark outcomes.

“Medicaid covers over 50 percent of the 138,000 plus births in Ohio each year, and doulas are known to help lower maternal and infant deaths and complications,” said Crawley. “By providing physical, emotional and informational support to mothers before, during and after birth, doulas are a vital part of the labor support team. Among some of the benefits of doula support are fewer requests for pain medication, decreased anxiety and comfort and reassurance throughout the birthing process.”

This legislation, House Bill 611, was introduced on April 27 and awaits a committee assignment.


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