MEDFORD, Ore. – As of January 1st of next year, pregnant woman on the Oregon Health Plan will be required to receive care through a Coordinated Care Organization, or CCO. This new change could have an effect on the birthing options those mothers will have.
Medical officials say the “fee for service” plan is being discontinued at the first of the year, which is currently the only way that Medicaid mothers could have coverage for midwives and now a movement is in effect to expand those options going forward.
The Trillium Waterbirth Center is a local provider that specializes in “out-of-hospital” births, like water births and birth center delivery. Last week, a group of Southern Oregon mothers and the midwives who serve them delivered a petition with more than 1,000 signatures to a local CCO, All Care, asking them to recognize their state-licensed facility in their network and therefore granting mothers alternative options.
All Care officials say they do not contract with midwifery services or birthing centers, therefore currently that is not a covered benefit by the CCO. In response to the petitions, All Care has contacted the state for guidance on the issue and coverage clarification. All Care officials say they are open to the option of adding these contracted providers, but will wait to hear back from the state on how to handle coverage in the coming year.