A Crisis We Cannot Overlook: Medicaid and Moms
This panel discussion features experts in both maternal health and Medicaid, discussing ways to improve maternal health outcomes, especially in high-risk populations. Concerns include the rates of preventable deaths and complications among women giving birth under Medicaid. The role of structural racism was also raised, with a call to rethink the approach to pregnant women of color who face a much higher mortality rate. Specific challenges discussed included the difficulty with data collection, a lack of integration between health system components, outdated payment structures and underinvestment in community health workers. Innovations discussed included early identification of at-risk pregnancies, expanding the role of doulas, adopting alternative payment models, and improving navigation support programs for new moms. The panelists agree on the need for collective, systemic changes to achieve long-term improvements to maternal health outcomes.