Medicaid Reimbursement for Doula Services: Definitions and Policy Considerations

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by Ethan Bradley, BA; Abigail R. Barker, PhD; Hakima Payne, MSN, RN; Okunsola M. Amadou, CPM; and Jesse A. Davis, MD, MBA | April 2022

Community-based doulas come from the under-resourced communities they serve and are trained at an organization that centers their community’s culture in their care model. Emerging research suggests that these community-based doulas can improve birth outcomes and reduce racial disparities by providing wraparound support throughout the pregnancy, in addition to the birth and the postpartum period. The challenge for authorizing Medicaid payment for doula care is that this form of care operates outside of traditional clinical provider organizations.  The purpose of this brief is to explain the opportunities provided by doula care, summarize the current training and credentialing options of doula organizations in Missouri, and identify policy considerations.