Bill to expand Medicaid maternity care to cover doula services passes in Pa. House

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An initiative to reduce maternal mortality among women of color in Pennsylvania advanced Monday with the unanimous passage of a bill to expand Medicaid to cover doula services and create an advisory board to ensure doulas are properly accredited.

The bill, introduced by state Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Philadelphia, is part of a package of legislation on Black maternal health — nicknamed the “Momnibus” by supporters — that includes a requirement for Medicaid to pay for blood pressure monitors, which also passed Monday in the state House with a 164-37 vote.

Both bills will now go to the Republican-controlled state Senate for consideration, where a similar bill to require Medicaid reimbursement for doulas was introduced last year by Sen. Judith Schwank, D-Berks. It has yet to be considered since it was referred to the to Senate Health and Human Services Committee in January 2023.

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