California Coalition for Doula Access
During the process of working with DHCS to develop the Doula Benefit a group of stakeholders has come together to present a cohesive message and recommendations. We will use this page as an opportunity to share with the public what we have discussed and how we have come to the recommendations put forth. These recommendations come from countless hours of discussion, resources pulled from other states, as well as extensive experience and knowledge from participants. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out.
This group is now meeting weekly to work on supporting the MediCal implementation efforts as well as investigating ways to continue advocacy on behalf of California doulas long term. We are investigating ways to collaborate with individuals as well as CBOs long term and secure funding to support our efforts. All future updates will be posted here.
DHCS Doula FAQ
ADDITIONAL INFO & DOCUMENTATION
- collects a series of three publications, a panel discussion, and other resources around the implementation of ten doula pilot programs here in California focused on addressing racial health disparities, and in particular on providing free doula services to either Black pregnant and birthing people or Medicaid enrollees
- This was the result of a survey and focus groups with doulas across the state, specifically about their thoughts, concerns, and other input around Medi-Cal coverage for doula care. The report, as well as a series of fact sheets, timeline, and perhaps most importantly, a list of recommendations, can all be found HERE
November 2021 story in The Sacramento Bee
March 2022 article in the LAist
Washington Post/The Lily series on Medicaid coverage of doula care, The State of Doula Care noting in particular:
- Oregon & Minnesota
- specifically the very low uptake on benefits in those states, due in part to very low reimbursement rates. Oregon since 2016 has "paid doulas less than $37,000 for supporting Medicaid clients through prenatal and postpartum visits and approximately 204 births," (19,000 people/year give birth on Medicaid in Oregon), and Minnesota since 2014 has "paid doulas less than $354,000 for supporting Medicaid clients through prenatal and postpartum visits and more than 850 births" (26,000 people/year give birth on Medicaid in Minnesota).
Publication from Ancient Song Doula Services, Village Birth International, and Every Mother Counts in New York: Advancing Birth Justice: Community-Based Doula Models as a Standard of Care for Ending Racial Disparities.
- Terrific for understanding the importance of community-based doula models and also clear explanation about the importance of sustainable reimbursement rates. Section on reimbursement starts on p. 17.
This page shall serve as an opportunity for the committed group of Stakeholders working with DHCS on this benefit to inform the public of the work we are doing on behalf of California Doulas and birthworkers. This is an ongoing project and as such this page shall be updated as new information is available. This page is housed here until we have our own domain and website and is not the product of MikaLynn Consulting, LLC.