Advocacy and Health Policy |

Legislative Updates - Spring 2020

The DIV Sections have been very active with collaboration between Fellows and Junior Fellows to advance their legislative agendas. Each Section currently has a functioning MMRC. Issues of concern for these committees include continued funding and expanding reviews. One common goal is to join AIM.

ACOG, as well as several maternal mortality review committees, have supported extending pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage for 12 months after delivery, rather than the current 60 days. South Carolina was the first state in the nation to request a Medicaid waiver to do this, but the request was ultimately revised and did not include the postpartum coverage extension. Proposals are currently in committee in Washington, D.C. and Georgia; and Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia are engaged in coalitions to pursue legislation. The North Carolina legislature is reviewing broader Medicaid reform, which will present an opportunity for legislation to be introduced.

Birth Center accreditation, Midwife accreditation, and scope of practice continue to be legislative issues for many of the Sections. Educational standards from the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) continue to be endorsed for state recognition and reimbursement for midwives. Likewise, educational and professional standards of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) are recommended to evaluate, certify and license all Midwives.

The DIV Junior Fellows have focused advocacy efforts on maximizing Junior Fellow voting turnout for the 2020 primary and general elections. This effort consists of a #GetOutTheVote campaign along with a website where DIV members can go to find information on this campaign and how to register to vote.

An Advocacy Workgroup has been formed by the DIV Junior Fellow Legislative Chair in order to create an advocacy curriculum to be used quarterly in each Section. This group is reviewing current curriculae from residency programs and Sections where they have been implemented.

Most Sections have an Annual Lobby Day and many either have or are initiating a Junior Fellow Lobby Day as well.

With the amount of legislative issues involving women’s health, it has become increasingly important to form alliances with other medical specialty societies such as SMFM, REI, and State Medical Societies. We are especially focused on increased collaboration between State Medical Societies and State Ob-Gyn Societies

Many DIV Sections have applied for and received funding from the Ob-GynPAC for candidates supportive of their legislative agenda. We encourage continued support of the PAC by all DIV Fellows and Junior Fellows.

Respectfully submitted,
Constance Bohon, MD, FACOG
Holly Puritz, MD, FACOG
Legislative Co-Chairs, District IV