Doula access in NYC is still limited to those who have the resources to afford it. Few programs offer doula support to birthing people who are low-income or otherwise cannot afford it, while this is the very population who would most benefit from doula support.
The New York Coalition for Doula Access (NYCDA) aims to increase access to doula care for Black maternal health patients and low income patients with Medicaid in NY state.
- Establish a living wage standard for doulas in NY state provided through statewide Medicaid reimbursement
- Create a set of standards for doula friendly hospital designation for NYC/NY state
If you are a doula or maternal health provider who would like to join the coalition please click here.
Advancing Equitable Medicaid Reimbursement for Doulas in NY
Project Update: We want to know what you think about what an equitable doula Medicaid reimbursement structure looks like and how it should be administered so we can convince legislators to act. Please take our survey and let us know your thoughts. You can access the survey here.
Doula access in New York is still limited to those who have the resources to afford it. Few programs offer doula support to birthing people who are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and could greatly benefit from doula services. Increasing access to doulas will help to improve maternal health inequities for Black women and birthing people – and doulas deserve a living wage for the vital role they play in improving birth outcomes.
The NY Coalition for Doula Access (NYCDA) is actively working to determine an equitable Medicaid reimbursement structure for New York-based doulas by 2023.
This interactive town hall webinar shared more about NYCDA’s work including how to get involved in this important project to share your ideas about what an equitable Medicaid reimbursement structure might look like to improve doula access in New York state!
- Patrizia Bernard, Doula Advisor, Clinical & Community Partnerships, Citywide Doula Initiative and Maternity Hospital Quality Improvement Network, Bureau of Maternal, Infant, and Reproductive Health, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, & Co-Lead, NYCDA
- Marek Lis, Collaboration Architect and Founder, Alchemy Insights
- Michelle Zambrano, Program Director, Health Leads NY, & Co-Lead, NYCDA
- NYCDA is a coalition of doulas and supportive allies that was originally formed in 2011. The coalition advocated for doulas to be reimbursed through Medicaid as part of the Medicaid Redesign process during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, though unfortunately, Medicaid reimbursement for doulas was not prioritized at that time.
- In partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYCDA developed the “Principles of Doula Support in the Hospital,” which included a definition of who a doula is, what they do and do not do and seven characteristics of a doula-friendly hospital.
- Through the years NYCDA continued to work to ensure that doulas were given a seat at the table in addressing birth equity in NY State, such as when the 2018 NY state maternal mortality task force was putting forth recommendations to address racial health inequities in maternal health outcomes.
The “Principles of Doula Support in the Hospital,” can also be found on pages 24-25 of the “State of Doula Care in NYC 2021” report.