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The 9 Most Talked About Happenings in Women’s Health in 2015

A new year brings new facts, figures, and speculations as to what will be the top health care trends. We are optimistic about making women’s health a priority this year, but before we start predicting the future, let’s reflect on what took place this past year.

1. The Day the Supreme Court Saved Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act is here to stay! On June 25, the Supreme Court made the decision in King v. Burwell to preserve access to subsidies for individuals who live in states where the health insurance exchange is operated by the federal government. Obamacare will increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate, and reduce costs of health care for the federal government and individuals alike.

2. Funding a Birth Control Revolution

Warren Buffett, a feminist icon? In the past decade, Warren Buffett’s family foundation has secretly funneled millions of dollars into IUD research and expanding access by lowering the cost of the contraceptive. The Buffett Foundation has become the most influential supporter of IUD research and access expansion than any other foundations combined in reproductive health. Thanks to Warren, the IUD is more affordable and accessible to all women!

3. Out: MDGs. In: SDGs.

We’ve closed the books on the 15-year period when the United Nations focused on their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). World leaders met at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September of this year and adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. Here’s how midwives can help the U.S. attain the SDGs!

4. Reverse in Cesarean Birth Rate Trend

According to the CDC, the cesarean delivery rate declined to 32.2 percent of births in 2014, down 0.7 percent from the 2009 peak of 32.9 percent. That’s a small but interesting decline. Hopefully it indicates that we might actually be on the right track to reverse the dangerously high US cesarean rate. In pursuit of that reduction, the ACNM Health Birth Initiative® launched its new Reducing Primary Cesareans project last spring.

5. Struck by a Duck? There’s a Code for That!

Health and IT management professionals around the nation spent a lot of time this year preparing their systems for the release of 68,000 new billing codes. On October 1, we entered a whole new era of classifying, identifying, and getting paid for treating the nation’s medical issues. Despite major concerns leading up to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) release of ICD-10, the immediate transition seems to have come and gone without major catastrophes. Whew!

6. When the Patient Becomes Partner-in-Care

Improving patient care has been an ongoing topic in health care for decades, but this past year, it has taken a different twist. Check out “Patients need not be patient anymore.” Patients are now acting as participants in their individualized treatment plans. Don’t sit on the sidelines. Be an engaged participant in your health.

7. Laboring Mamas: Trade in Those Ice Chips!

After years of being told not to eat during labor, a new study suggests that women may benefit from some food-who knew? Similar to running a marathon, moms need the calories to maintain energy and strength to push their babies into the world. Midwives, we know you’ve been on board with eating during labor for centuries. We’re just glad to see others are catching on – including the anesthesiologists.

8. Why it’s Scary to Give Birth in the U.S.

According to data from the World Health Organization, the United States ranks behind every other developed nation when it comes to the number of women who die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth each year. And we’re the only one where maternal health risks are getting worse: 7.2 women died per 100,000 births in 1987, and that number has increased to 17.8 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2009 and 2011. Today, women giving birth in the U.S. are at a higher risk of dying than those giving birth in China or Saudi Arabia.

9. Desperately Seeking Maternity Care Providers

Just when Obamacare is in full swing and the number of Americans with health insurance is at record highs, we’re short on providers – especially providers of primary care and maternity care. Earlier this month, ACNM’s President Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, FACNM had the opportunity to testify on Capitol Hill in favor of legislation to address the maternity care provider shortage. The bill, Improving Access to Maternity Care Act of 2015 (H.R.1209), would establish a health professional shortage area designation for maternity care services, so more women will have access to the care they deserve. It is our hope that Congress will pass the bill without delay.

By Michele Lunsford, Media Relations and Social Media Specialist, ACNM

Posted By Michele Lunsford | 1/11/2016 2:44:17 PM



Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.


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