Primary Care Access Bill
AN ACT TO INCREASE ACCESS TO PRIMARY CARE SERVICES FOR WOMEN
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
See the ACNM Position Statement "Midwives are Primary Care Providers and Leaders of Maternity Care Homes."
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]