Legislation proposed to provide coverage for doula services and establish a registry of doulas eligible for reimbursement.
In March of 2021, legislation–HB 2372 (bill)–was proposed to require Medicaid coverage of doula services to “pregnancy individuals, surrogates, foster parents, and adoptive parents.” The also requires MassHealth and the Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish and maintain a registry of doulas eligible to be reimbursed by MassHealth. While the Department is permitted to determine the competencies that will be required for a doula to qualify for reimbursement, the bill includes mandatory competencies which range from an understanding of basic anatomy to healthy equity and implicit bias.
Under the bill a commission will be created to assist the DPH with developing the competency requirements, standards for proving competency, ensuring diversity, and more. The commission must create a report within 12 months to share with the Governor and DPH officials to help initiate reimbursement of services.
In fall of 2021, the DPH requested information from the public regarding the Doula Services Program. The most recent update is that responses would be accepted until December 17, 2021. We have been unable to find any materials related to the Doula Services Program beyond the most recent request for information. If you are aware of resources or updates regarding steps toward Medicaid reimbursement for doula services in Massachusetts, please let us know.
News Articles Related to Enacted Law
March of Dimes, Summary of Doula Town Halls and Doula Survey in Massachusetts (May 2019)
Health City, Access to Doula Support is a Key Piece of Maternal Health Equity (July 27, 2021)
Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety, Expanding doula support services in Massachusetts: Considerations for Successful Implementation (January 2022)