Funding to pay community-based birth workers is critical and largely absent; legislative action and Medicaid funding can change this. Thanks to a grant from the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, HealthConnect One has launched the Doula Medicaid Reimbursement Storybook – a project that involves developing a storybook focused on community-based doulas highlighting the profession’s sustainability, engaging doulas in advocacy training, and concluding with an advocacy day visit to Capitol Hill.
Over the past months, we asked doulas about their experiences with doula reimbursement and salary stability in the communities where HealthConnect One works, and now we have compiled them in the storybook below. These stories highlight the systemic barriers faced by doulas across the country, resulting in an unsustainable living wage and financial strain. You will hear how doulas are:
- Facing challenges with Medicaid reimbursement, making it difficult for doulas to obtain a sustainable living wage due to long waiting periods for reimbursement and challenges with claim submissions.
- Paid for only a fraction of the work they do, as the reimbursement model is one-size-fits-all and does not account for the highly individualized nature of doula work.
- Struggling to receive reimbursement, with many doulas volunteering their services due to difficulties in being paid, making doula work an unsustainable living wage for many.
This story collection features voices from doulas across the United States. By sharing their stories, we hope to raise awareness about the need for legislative action and Medicaid funding to provide fair compensation and financial stability for birth workers. We hope you will share this storybook widely, including with elected officials, to help them in their policy decisions.