Saturday, May 9, 2009

Birth Center Alert: Action Needed!

The following letter was posted on the Phoenix Birth Network yahoo group:


American Association of Birth Centers
Legislative Alert

Judge Rules Against Birth Centers

The federal administrative judge ruled against birth centers in the Texas Medicaid case. The federal government (CMS) is not required to pay the state their federal match for birth center facility fees.

So far CMS has disallowed payments to Alaska, South Carolina, Texas and Washington state for birth center facility charges. The Texas appeal would have directed CMS to continue paying the 42 Texas birth centers their facility fees - as it had for over 20 years.

The nationwide implications of this ruling for birth centers could be catastrophic. This decision applies to all states. Without payment of the birth center facility fees, birth centers in all states will be pushed to the brink of closure. We have already seen centers close in the state of Washington.

We have been proactive in finding a permanent solution for centers nationwide, and are actively lobbying for legislation that would mandate the birth center facility fee payment to the states in Medicaid. Representative Susan Davis (D) from California and Representative Gus Bilirakis (R) from Florida are set to introduce the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.


1) Spread the word and gather signatures for the Consumer Letter
Many of you are already spreading the word via email and putting the letter in your waiting rooms - that's great!

Download the letter to put in your waiting room or anyone else people gather.

Sign on the letter on the web.

Put a link to the letter on your website - Here's the html code:http://www.surveymo s.aspx?sm= XGO2ZxaqKojCOGBg _2fBVxWg_ 3d_3d">Click Here to sign the Consumer Letter

2) Call your U.S. Representatives and Senators
The House Bill has both a Democrat and Republican lead sponsor. Now, we need the same in the Senate. Ask for their support of this legislation. Download to "Pregnant Women's Access to Care Threatened" for some talking points. Our future depends on it!

3) Continue to collect signatures for the Physician Letter from our friends in the medical community.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to get our birth center legislation introduced and passed!

Jill Alliman, CNM, MSN
Legislative Chair American Association of Birth Centers
Because this is a copied-and-pasted letter, none of the above links will work. So follow this link to take action! We need our birth centers!

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