About OHP Client Doula Services
HB 3650 was a landmark house bill that mandated the reimbursement of doula care by Oregon state Medicaid systems, with doulas being one of five Traditional Health Workers (THW’s) designated as a THW Doula. Pregnant families on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) can now receive doula care as a covered service, provided through the Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) that insures them, or directly through the state. CCOs are now mandated to facilitate the development of doula services for their members by working with THW doulas in their coverage area. The ODA is assisted Oregon’s THW Commission and doulas around the state in implementing these services.
Funding for Doula Services
Most OHP members receive care through Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) with a small number receiving care directly from the state, known as fee-for-service care. The state’s base care package includes includes 2 prenatal and 2 postpartum visits, as well as continuous labor and birth support. The current Medicaid reimbursement amount paid by the state for fee for service clients is $350 for this package ($150 per birth and $50 for each pre-post visit). CCOs are required to pay this minimum amount for uncontracted THW doula services, however, many doula groups, called “Doula Hubs” are now contracting with THW Doulas for higher amounts, because CCOs are supplementing with flexible funding sources.
All OHP clients are eligible for doula services. The primary purpose of this law is to improve birth outcomes, lower health care costs, increase the quality of care, and reduce health care disparities that exist with certain groups of clients. Priorities for services include:
(a) A woman with a racially or ethnically diverse background including, Black/African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Latino, or multi-racial
(b) A homeless woman
(c) A woman who speaks limited to no English
(d) A woman who has limited to no family support
(e) A woman who is under the age of 21
(f) Women who are medically high risk
These groups are typically underserved and have limited to no access to doula care. A primary goal of the Diverse Communities Committee of the ODA is to better diversify the doula workforce. Please reach out to doulas and women in your communities from the priority groups defined and help them get involved with the ODA and on the state registry. Contact: Chair of the Diverse Communities Committee, Kimberly Porter, at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get on the state registry to become a THW Doula?
Birth doulas interested in serving OHP clients can find information and links to applications and other documents needed here, Pathway to Oregon State THW Doula Certification (Create link to page with same title.)
Do I need to do a criminal background check?
Once they receive and approve your Traditional Health Worker application and supporting documents, you’ll get an email from their Background Check unit so make sure you check your email frequently, including your spam folder! You have a limited amount of time to respond, so make sure you don't let it expire. You will then have to complete the background check application and return it. If you’ve lived outside of Oregon in the past 5 years, you’ll also need to submit fingerprints. The background check is required even if you have had one in the past. This process will take about 4-8 weeks and all costs are covered by the Oregon Health Authority. If you meet all the requirements and pass the background check, they will notify you by email and add your information to the Authority’s registry of Certified Traditional Health Workers.
How long does it take to get on the registry?
Currently the process time is approximately three months. Please be patient and remember that Oregon is creating a whole new system from scratch and is still working on the process. This is one for the history books and you are a part of it!
How do I begin serving clients once I am on the state registry?
Details on how to provide THW Doula services to OHP clients have been created and can be found here, Guidelines for THW Doulas Serving OHP Clients. (Link to our page with the same title)
Are my postpartum services covered?
Currently only the birth doula services are covered by once you are on the registry. ODA will be working on getting postpartum doula services covered in the future.