Choices in Childbirth launches “Doula Care in New York City: Advancing the Goals of the Affordable Care Act”
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~Report Addresses ACA ‘Triple Aim’ with Ten Key Recommendations for Policymakers~
(NEW YORK) October 29, 2014 – Choices in Childbirth (CiC) announces the release of their report “Doula Care in New York City: Advancing the Goals of the Affordable Care Act.” The report identifies the value of doula support in achieving critical improvements in maternity care, in line with the priorities identified in the Affordable Care Act.
The 50-page white paper explores the evidence and benefits of doula support such as reduced cesarean rates, shorter labors, less need for epidurals, and improved patient experience. The report examines the landscape of birth in NYC including an investigation of health disparities based on race, ethnicity, and income, as well as challenges for doula work. CiC outlines ten key recommendations to increase access to and improve the effectiveness of doula care.
The Affordable Care Act’s “triple aim” emphasizes changing the way that care is delivered in order to 1) improve health outcomes for all, 2) improve the patient’s experience of care, and 3) reduce the cost of care. Research demonstrates that doula care has the potential to address each of these “triple aims” and should be recognized as an essential strategy to enhance the way that maternity care is provided.
“The ACA opens the door to re-envisioning maternity care options,” said Executive Director Elan McAllister. “Supportive care practices have the potential to improve the health of mothers and babies and increase birth satisfaction; all while decreasing expenditures for preventable interventions. It’s time to take significant action.”
In 2012, there were 123,231 births in New York City, more than in 41 out of the 50 U.S. states. The city’s high rates of maternal deaths and complications, racial inequalities, and increasing cost of childbirth care signal the immediate need for system-wide improvements.
Report author and Director of Policy and Research, Nan Strauss said, “Doula care has been identified in the medical literature as an underutilized, evidence-based strategy to improve health outcomes. We need to foster collaborative relationships with providers, assess current hospital policies, and remove barriers to access, such as cost.”
The Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review of the medical literature found that doulas reduce cesarean rates by an average of 28%. If all births in NYC in 2012 had been attended by doulas, spending on cesareans could have been reduced by approximately $43 million for Medicaid and $41 million for private insurance. Together with savings generated by other benefits of doula care, this would balance the cost of paying for doula care. Currently, doulas attend only an estimated 5% of births in New York City.
About Choices in Childbirth
Choices in Childbirth (CiC) is a non-profit organization focused on ensuring that all women have access to maternity care that is safe, healthy, equitable, and empowering. Their mission is to promote evidence-based, mother-friendly childbirth options through public education, consumer advocacy, and pioneering policy reform. They seek to improve maternity care by providing the public, especially childbearing women and their families, with the information necessary to make fully informed decisions relating to how, where, and with whom they will give birth. Their advocacy and policy work is directed towards supporting implementation of evidence-based care practices that will result in better health outcomes for women and their babies, greater patient satisfaction, and increased engagement of women in their own care. For more information, visit: www.choicesinchildbirth.org