Although this is new to me, it’s news from October. CAPPA announced that certified doulas will now be able to apply for insurance reimbursement through Medicaid and other third party insurance companies.
According to CAPPA, certified doulas can register for an NPI (national provider identification number) under the heading of “Nursing Service Related Providers Type.” (NOTE: According to CAPPA, you do not need to be a nurse).
Their post about this doesn’t explain which certifications count (DONA? CAPPA? toLabor?) or what the reimbursement might actually be.
These steps are really important for expanding access to doula care to those without the means, but who might have private insurance or Medicaid. The downside is that inclusion in insurance programs also usually mean stricter regulation of doulas, usually via certification. Right now, certification is just an administrative (and financial) hurdle doulas have to cross, but it’s possible that it could get harder as the role of the doula becomes more professionalized.
Will it be harder to be a radical doula in a super-professionalized doula world? It’s possible. (For more on why I’m not certified, go here).
Professionalization has also been a struggle for midwives. It’s meant more rigorous standards for education (and only certain types of education count), training and even malpractice insurance. It’s a double-bind, since for low-income women to have access to doula and midwifery care, we need insurance inclusion, but insurance inclusion means tighter regulation and restrictions on how we practice.
Anyone have experience getting reimbursed by insurance companies or Medicaid for their doula services?