New York State lawmakers pass a bill to establish a doula directory

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ALBANY, NY (WENY)– In Albany lawmakers passed over 800 bills this session. One passed bill if signed by the Governor would establish a community directory for doula services. 

“Maternal health is very important to me, our rates of maternal mortality are shocking, especially for women of color. We have to be very aggressive in dealing with this,” said Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

The directory would promote Medicaid reimbursement and doula services for Medicaid recipients. 

James McDonald, Commissioner for the New York State Department of Health said Medicaid reimbursement for doula services passed in this years state budget will be an important clinical tool to help combat maternal mortality. 

“Quite frankly eliminating health disparities is something that is very important to me, it’s very important to the New York State Department of health. There’s just no reason why in a civilized culture we should tolerate health disparities. It’s just not something we should do,” McDonald said. 

Medicaid reimbursement for doula services could also help some doulas financially. 

Rachel Tibold, a birth and postpartum doula in Erie County, said she often has to travel a lengthy distance to her clients and increasing gas prices continue to cause her financial stress. 

“I don’t get reimbursed per mile. I would have to rely on myself to get paid and we only get paid a certain amount an allotment. Right now, it’s thirty dollars per prenatal visit, thirty dollars per post-partum visit. And right now, that doesn’t cover even just gas,” Tibold said. 

Gov. Hochul said she is going to look at this legislation and that it’s one of 839 bills she has on her desk for review. 

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