Maternity care has been on my mind lately. Mainly because my family is expecting our second child this summer and because of how new state policies intersect with our perinatal bundle.
During this last legislative session, I watched with enthusiasm as Senate Bill 5068, that extended Medicaid coverage up to 12 months after a person gives birth, passed both Senate and House and was signed by our Governor. This increased access to clinical care that accommodates income fluctuation is huge and allows gestational parents to be supported during a time that is physically and psychologically difficult.
Access to high-quality, coordinated medical care, mental health treatment, and substance use disorder treatment are necessary, as is paid family medical leave to take care of and bond with this new human (or humans). Washington’s Paid Family Leave, more information here, is another supporter of the health of our families; allowing people to take care of themselves and their loved ones. My challenge to all organizations in our state (and elsewhere) is to examine how their own leave policies support or do not support people during this period – and whether their organizational culture facilitates if people feel that they can truly use this benefit.
We are reconvening our Perinatal Bundle workgroup June 1st to reflect on and react to this Medicaid expansion. Our current bundle includes three months of postpartum care and we will be discussing whether and how to extend this to twelve months from 8:00 – 9:30am via zoom. Join us here.
Ginny Weir, MPH
CEO, Foundation for Health Care Quality