Expansion of Community-Based Doulas Through Medicaid Reimbursement
State/Jurisdiction: New Jersey
Population: Perinatal/Infant Health, Women/Maternal Health,
Topic Area: Health Equity, Reproductive Health, Access to Health Care/Insurance, Service Coordination & Integration,
NPMs: NPM 3: Risk-Appropriate Perinatal Care
New Jersey’s (NJ) maternal health outcomes and disparities are among the highest in the U.S. The state of New Jersey is 47th out of 50 states in terms of maternal mortality. Black women experience seven times the rate of death from pregnancy-related causes compared to their white counterparts. Moreover, Severe Maternal Morbidity (SMM) rates are among the highest in the U.S. In 2019, SMM rates among Non-Hispanic black women were nearly three times greater than those of Non-Hispanic white women. Child health outcomes are equally concerning. While New Jersey has the 5th best overall infant mortality rate among the 50 states, the Non-Hispanic black infant mortality rate in NJ is 3.5 times higher than the infant mortality rate for non-Hispanic white infants. The Hispanic infant mortality rate is 1.4 times higher than the rate among White babies. These statistics call for action. NJDOH awarded funding to HealthConnect One to work on the establishment of the Doula Learning Collaborative (DLC) which provides training, workforce development, supervision support, mentorship, technical assistance, direct billing, and sustainability planning to community doulas and doula organizations throughout the State of NJ.
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