Dear MAWS Members & Supporters:
Please contact your state Senator & 2 Representatives ASAP & mobilize your clients to do the same! You can even give them the contact info directly based on district.
Sample text below: Basically, we are asking them to support our provisos in the House budget which include our licensing fee cap & our request for increased Medicaid reimbursement for births at home and in freestanding birth centers!
We don’t have the fancy software that will do action alerts for you, so please take a few moments to follow the steps below:.
SAMPLE TEXT you can adapt for your personal message:
April 5, 2023
Thank you so much for your support of midwives and midwifery! For the past 15 years, we've appreciated inclusion of a $525 professional licensing fee cap in the state operating budget. The cap allows the practice of midwifery without fear of prohibitively high licensing fees, and the backfill provided by the budget is more than made up for by keeping licensed midwives in the workforce. This year the House budget included midwives licensing fee cap, but the Senate budget did not. ($300,000 state total)
Additionally, in order to address the sustainability of licensed midwifery care as well as positively affect worsening birth outcomes in our state (see below), our legislative champions requested that the Medicaid rate for home birth supplies be increased to $1000 and the free-standing birth center facility fee be increased to $4900. The House budget included these Medicaid rate improvements, but the Senate budget did not. ($2.58 million total, $1.07 state, $1.5 federal)
In February 2023, the Washington State Maternal Mortality Review Panel: Maternal Deaths 2017-2020 report was submitted to the legislature, with disheartening news. The panel made three legislative budget recommendations, one of which was an item we had already requested.
“Prioritize access to perinatal care in communities experiencing inequities, disparities, bias, or discrimination as apparent in maternal mortality data. Fund:
- Culturally competent care, including community health workforce and value-based payment models that focus more on outcomes than on number of services delivered.
- Increased access to out-of-hospital birthing care such as midwifery and doula services (e.g., funding for free-standing birth centers, rate increases for midwives, etc.).
- Interpreter services, including services in a wider variety of languages.”
Finally, as birth care is an entitlement in Medicaid, each pregnant person that chooses licensed midwifery care saves the state money, as even with these improved rates, payments would still be less than hospital care. We implore you to keep Washington at the forefront of high quality healthcare by including these Medicaid rates for licensed midwifery care in the final budget.
Your local midwives and consumers of midwifery services