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ACNM Policy Update - 3/3/2016

Federal Issues

1. CMS Releases 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for Health Insurance Marketplaces

2. NHSC Scholarship Program Accepting Applications through April 28

3. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Releases Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks

4. KFF Releases Issue Brief on Contraceptive Coverage Case Before the Supreme Court

5. Participate in ACNM’s Benchmarking Project!

6. Take Advantage of the March 7 ACNM Annual Meeting Early Bird Special!


1. CMS Releases 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for Health Insurance Marketplaces

On February 29, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, outlining final policies applicable to insurance plans operating in the health insurance marketplaces. A key provision in the final rule related to plans’ network adequacy. CMS had proposed specific time and distance standards that insurers would have to meet in order to participate in the federally facilitated marketplace.

In the final Notice, CMS acknowledged that states are moving to adopt provisions of a model network adequacy law put out by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and that there might be conflicts between how states implement that model law and the proposed network adequacy requirements put forth by the agency. Thus, CMS indicates in the final Notice that they will wait to see how states implement the NAIC model law and seek to coordinate their own requirements with those adopted by the states. A fact sheet outlining the content of the Notice is available.

2. NHSC Scholarship Program Accepting Applications through April 28

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship program is open to accept applications through April 28, at 7:30 pm ET. The scholarship pays tuition, fees, other educational costs, and provides a living stipend in return for a commitment to work at least 2 years at an NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved community.

The 2016 Application and Program Guidance has detailed information needed to apply. In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will hold an informational webinar on March 24 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm ET. Number: 1-888-566-6151 Passcode: 5672258, as well as a technical assistance conference call on April 14, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm ET, Number: 1-888-566-6151 Passcode: 9730122

3. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Releases Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released its Chartbook on Health Care for Blacks, derived from the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, summarizing trends in health care disparities by race. The report includes a significant section related to infant mortality and maternity care.

4. KFF Releases Issue Brief on Contraceptive Coverage Case Before the Supreme Court

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has released a new issue brief explaining the legal issues raised by the Zubik v. Burwell case, discussing the influence of the Hobby Lobby decision, and examining the potential impact of the ruling, including what happens in the case of a split decision.

The Hobby Lobby decision established that certain firms with religious beliefs should be relieved of the requirement of paying for contraceptive coverage. The current challenges, brought by religiously-affiliated nonprofits, address a different issue: Does the accommodation the government offers to relieve them of the coverage requirement burden their religious beliefs? With the death of Justice Scalia, this already complicated case has taken on additional questions. The KFF brief seeks to discuss these issues.

5. Participate in ACNM’s Benchmarking Project!

Most of you are aware that ACNM maintains a benchmarking project under which CNMs/CMs can submit data on their practice and see how they compare to their colleagues.

For purposes of advocacy, these data are VERY important! It provides the information needed to demonstrate the value of what midwives do. I strongly encourage ALL of you who are in active clinical practice to participate.

If you have participated before, you should have received an email with a link to the new platform.

If this is your first time participating, or if you did not receive an email invite, you can read the instructions and get more information on the project at www.midwife.org/benchmarking.

You can also go directly to https://benchmarking.midwife.org/ to get started on the survey.

6. Take Advantage of the March 7 ACNM Annual Meeting Early Bird Special!

Registration for ACNM’s 61stAnnual Meeting & Exhibition is open and early bird savings on registration are available to those who register by March 7.

Click here to save on your registration.


Not an ACNM member? You can access all of the member benefits, including receipt of every ACNM Policy Update, by joining today.

Want to take action or get involved? Contact ACNM's Government Affairs Committee.

Don't have the time or energy to get involved, but still want to contribute? Support the Midwives-PAC.




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