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Current Efforts for Doula Medicaid Implementation: Updates, Challenges, and Best Practices

Low-income people in the United States are at a higher risk of poor birth outcomes, and pregnant and birthing people of color, especially Black pregnant and birthing people, are especially vulnerable. Expanding access to doulas, who can help reduce the impacts of racism and racial bias in health care on pregnant people of color by providing individually tailored, culturally appropriate, and patient-centered care and advocacy, have been touted as among the most promising approaches to combating maternal mortality and racial disparities in maternal health. Accordingly, since 2019, a number of states have implemented, or are currently in the process of implementing, Medicaid coverage for doula care. This session will share an update on current doula Medicaid implementation efforts across the country, including sharing implementation challenges, as well as lifting up best practices.