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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Seeking Maternity Care Providers
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
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