I received this information as a comment, and wanted to make sure as many eyes saw it as possible, so I’m posting it in full here. While this is currently California-only, what happens in California is likely to bleed over into other states, so it really affects everyone. (This is a “sticky post” so check below for new posts.)
We NEED everyone’s help to make sure that birth centers across the nation stay in business! Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) is trying to reduce or eliminate the Facility Fee that birth centers can bill for. This is a main part of the re-imbursement that birth centers recieve from Medicaid, and to eliminate them is esentially to eliminate birth centers all together. We can NOT let this happen!
Each and every one of you CAN take action to put birth centers on the Congressional radar. The birth center community must take the lead on this–Congress won’t take any action for us unless it hears from its constituents. AABC’s lobbyist Karen Fennell is busy making Congressional visits, but they are saying they have not heard from you–so it must not be important . . . Right now, Rep. Susan Davis (CA) will sponsor the bill and Rep. Lois Capps (CA) will co-sponsors, but we need many more–including Republicans so it has bi-partisan support.
Call your Representatives and Senators!
To find out who they are use these links:
Find your Senators – http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Find your Representatives –
http://www.house.gov/ – use the tool in the upper left hand corner The American College of Nurse-Midwives also has a tool on their website – http://capwiz.com/acnm/dbq/officials/?lvl=C
Tell them you are a (midwife, staff person or client) of a birth center that cares for Medicaid women, and you want to let them know that birth centers are a needed service, and deserve to receive reimbursement! Other birth centers have already closed due to lack of facility reimbursement. On the House side, ask Democrats to co-sponsor our bill which would add Birth Centers to Medicaid covered services. (Our bill does not have a number yet). Ask House Republicans to be a sponsor or lead. On the Senate side, we need leads and sponsors in both parties. Please notify Jackie of your calls. Provide her with the representative’s name, the staff person’s name, and any questions or information she should be aware of. This is urgent if we want to sustain birth centers in the United States. Please call today. Remember, this is important to the survival of ALL birth centers we are working for–we need 50 calls this week! Please also pass this on to anyone you know who has had or would like to have a baby in a birth center!
Thank you for your support!