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Lisa Kane Low, CNM, PhD, FACNM

Candidate for President-Elect

See Lisa’s CV here

Question: What challenges to midwifery practice have you observed/experienced either nationally or in your region, and what solutions would you suggest or implement to eliminate that barrier?

Answer: As midwives, we expend significant time and energy defending our ability to offer women the scope of care we were educated to provide. Constraints on our practice due to state regulations limiting our independent scope of care, health care payers with mandatory supervision stipulations, and complex hospital and payer credentialing hurdles reduce women’s access to midwife care. Despite these persistent barriers, we have new opportunities resulting from national quality initiatives linked to physiologic approaches to childbirth and expanded access to women’s reproductive health care services. These opportunities are arriving at the same time as maternity care provider workforce shortages, ACOG’s expanded interest in collaborative practice, and incentives to engage in interdisciplinary education and research. We can capitalize on these opportunities by creating a comprehensive approach to promoting midwives as an essential primary provider of women’s health care who can accomplish national health care quality and safety goals. To do this we need to:

  • Initiate a national approach to making a value-added, cost-savings argument for the role of midwives to health care payers in combination with offering expert consultations to midwives as they engage with payers locally.
  • Provide technical support to state affiliates who want to pursue independent scope of practice legislation.
  • Continue to provide leadership within national quality initiatives to promote woman-centered, midwife-led models of care as the standard.
  • Develop resources and presentations for midwives to use to address constraints in credentialing and securing hospital privileges.
  • Develop infrastructure within ACNM to produce landmark reports documenting links between specific providers, models of care, and optimal health outcomes for women and newborns.
  • Continue being at national tables with multi-stakeholder groups engaged in women’s health and maternity care, serving as the voice for change.
  • Continue marketing midwifery care to consumers so they can bring added pressure to insurers and hospital systems.

American College of Nurse-Midwives.
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