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Primary Care Access Bill

AN ACT TO INCREASE ACCESS TO PRIMARY CARE SERVICES FOR WOMEN

Filed by Rep. Kay Khan for the 2015-2016 session

"An Act to Increase Access to Primary Care Services for Women", House Bill 894, would require insurers in the state of Massachusetts, including managed care plans, to recognize nurse-midwives as primary care providers and cover the primary care services provided by nurse-midwives. Since the passage of Chapter 24 of the Acts of 2012, nurse-midwives are no longer required to be supervised by physicians, and managed care plans will need to reimburse nurse-midwives directly for providing primary care.  "An Act to Increase Access to Primary Care Services for Women" is needed to preserve consumer access to primary care services for women by nurse-midwives, especially in light of the current shortage of primary care providers in the state. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H894

  • Kathy Jones-McWilliams, CNM, MSN of Steward St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, presented testimony to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Financial Services on March 5, 2014. 

  • Theresa Coley-Kouadio CNM, MSN of Baystate Midwifery and Women’s Health, presented testimony to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Financial Services on July 21, 2015.

Despite universal healthcare coverage in Massachusetts by Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006, access to care still remains an issue (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2013).  Although a large proportion of nurse-midwives in Massachusetts (39%) indicate that primary care is one of their main areas of practice, 57% cite insurance reimbursement as a top barrier to delivery of their primary care services (Brewin, 2011).While nurse-midwives traditionally care for childbearing women, a significant segment of nurse-midwives in Massachusetts also deliver primary care to vulnerable populations of women (Brewin, 2011). Ensuring insurance reimbursement through would help to potentiate primary care delivery by nurse-midwives and address the primary care provider shortage, especially for underserved populations.

            "An Act to Increase Access to Primary Care Services for Women" is a cost-neutral bill; it does not require creation of any new administrative agents.

 See the ACNM Position Statement "Midwives are Primary Care Providers and Leaders of Maternity Care Homes."

Sources:

Brewin D, Kelleher C. (2011). Caring for Women: A Profile of the Midwifery Workforce in Massachusetts. Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Medical Society (2013). 2013 MSS Physician Workforce Study. Accessed at: [http://www.massmed.org/News-and-Publications/Research-and-Studies/2013-MMS-Physician-Workforce-Study/#.UyNhamdOXmR]

 



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