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The Affordable Care Act requires lactation support to be reimbursed as a women’s preventive health service. HealthConnect One joins with other national organizations who agree with reimbursement for lactation services, but oppose the creation of a Medicaid reimbursement code that would limit reimbursement to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).
We support the call by Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding to oppose a CMS code that would limit reimbursement to IBCLCs.
We believe that breastfeeding peer counselors, community-based doulas and other perinatal community health workers should be included as approved breastfeeding support providers. The Affordable Care Act authorizes the use of Community Health Workers in Section 5313, and promotes their use in health reform. CMS needs to stay consistent with the overall vision of health reform, with an expanded health care team that includes community health workers.
Here is the statement posted by Healthy Children on their Facebook page earlier this week:
In January, the USLCA submitted an application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a new Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code to describe lactation consultant services performed by IBCLCs. While Healthy Children supports the concept of creating a code for lactation consultant services, we oppose a code that would limit reimbursement to IBCLCs.
The CMS issued a preliminary decision in which it declined to create a HCPCS code for lactation services. This decision is up for reconsideration at a meeting scheduled for May 29, 2013. The USCLA plans to make a presentation and is soliciting the submission of comments on its proposal. We have prepared a proposed comment for you to submit as a Certified Lactation Counselor, Advanced Nurse Lactation Consultant, or Advanced Lactation Consultant. Please take a moment to help ensure fair, open access to lactation care for all mothers and babies.
To share your views with CMS, Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding proposes the following comments, which you can adapt as you see fit:
To be considered by CMS, your comments should be submitted via email to HCPCS@cms.hhs.gov by May 15, 2013.
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Sahira Long and Kim Bugg offer some perspective on this topic here on Momsrising.