The ACA contained a provision prohibiting insurers from discriminating against providers who render care in accordance with their state scope of practice requirements.
“This survey clearly demonstrates that many plans are excluding midwives from their networks, or paying them at reduced rates for services they are legally allowed to perform, solely because of the type of license they hold,” Breedlove said. “While we do not know why plans have made these decisions, we do know that policymakers have a responsibility to enforce provisions of law that prohibit provider discrimination and to put in place requirements that encourage the inclusion of high value providers in plan networks.”
”Whereas obstetricians are experts in providing care to women with high-risk pregnancies, midwives are experts in caring for women with low-risk pregnancies and meeting the everyday health care needs of women throughout the lifecycle. There is a critical need for both obstetricians and for midwives, and both should be reimbursed equitably for their services,” she added.
Reputable studies over decades published in multiple Cochrane reviews, the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health,Women’s Health Issues, The Lancet, the British Medical Journal, and the Australian Health Review, among others, have demonstrated the value of midwifery care both in terms of outcomes and cost savings.
According to Breedlove, “Most insurers have recognized the proven value of midwifery care and have taken appropriate steps to include them in their networks and cover their services, but there is real room for improvement. To the extent plans not currently contracting with midwives bring their practices in line with the majority, they will be able to offer their beneficiaries better service and better respond to the desires of hundreds of thousands of women to have access to the unique model of care offered by midwives.”