February 2021 | Series


The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is worse today than it was 25 years ago — particularly among Black women, who are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. Midwifery-led care may offer a solution to improve health equity and ultimately, maternal and infant outcomes for pregnant individuals. As the health insurer for 45 percent of births in the U.S. and 66 percent of all births to Black mothers, state Medicaid agencies have a clear role in supporting opportunities that implement a high-value, evidence-based midwifery-led model of care.

The Center for Health Care Strategies is supporting the Institute for Medicaid Innovation’s virtual learning series that explores the implementation of midwifery-led models of care in Medicaid, with a focus on certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives who practice in hospitals and freestanding birth centers. The eight-part series can help inform policy, design, and implementation activities of state Medicaid agencies, Medicaid managed care organizations, and midwifery-led practices.

Following are descriptions of the sessions and links to resources, including speaker bios, presentation slides, recording, and background resources. Look for future sessions to be posted here.

  • High-Value, Evidence-Based Maternal Models of Care and Birth Equity (October 2020) – Identifies elements of midwifery-led care and practice settings; health care structures, economics, and evidence that influence the uptake of midwifery-led care in the U.S.; and the interconnectedness between systemic racism, COVID-19, and birth inequity.
  • Value Proposition for Midwifery-Led Care in Medicaid (November 2020) – Explores the value of midwifery-led models of care and examines the challenges and opportunities in ensuring access to midwifery-led care.
  • Licensure, Credentialing, and Contracting in Medicaid (December 2020) – Discusses the variation in state regulatory requirements governing midwifery-led care, including licensure, scope of practice, credentialing, and contraction. It also highlights Medicaid credentialing and contracting requirements for freestanding birth centers.
  • Launching and Operating Medicaid Focused Midwifery-Led Models of Care (January 2021) – Shares best practices, lessons, challenges, and opportunities from leaders in innovative midwifery-led models of care. It also synthesizes requirements for creating and operating a licensed, fully accredited, Medicaid contracted freestanding birth center.