House Bill 39 proposed which requires Medicaid and managed care organizations that contract with the Department to cover doula services.
Under the bill, Medicaid and managed care organizations are required to cover doula services. A doula must apply for and received a National Provider and identification number from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare services and complete enrollment as a medicaid provider in order to qualify for reimbursement.
The bill establishes several criteria for a doula to enroll as a medicaid provider. Among these are requirements such as completing a doula training course from specific organizations or one approved by the state Department of Medicaid Services. In addition, there are specific knowledge requirements, such as 1 breastfeeding class, and a doula must be able to provide a positive reference from a licensed professional midwife. These are not the only requirements and doulas and advocates should review the requirements and provide feedback for legislators about benefits or potential barriers the requirements may create.
The legislation was introduced in the House in January of 2022. No additional actions have been taken since. This is part of the Kentucky effort to address maternal and infant health issues state wide. This bill is a follow-up to legislative efforts in 2021 in which the legislature proposed 21 bills aimed addressing key areas of maternal and infant health. In addition to bills requiring Medicaid to cover midwives and doulas, bills were proposed extend medicaid coverage, increase access to midwifery and doula care for incarcerated women, and eliminate sales tax for breastfeeding equipment.