The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Opinion

August 31, 2011

Viewpoint: Medicaid covers care provided by certified nurse midwives

Recently, inaccurate information has been published stating that Medicaid will not pay for care provided by a nurse-midwife. I would like to correct this misinformation and clear up any confusion this has caused.

Indiana Medicaid representatives and legal counsel have both confirmed for us over the past week that Indiana Medicaid does reimburse for care provided by both certified nurse-midwives and physicians when that care is provided appropriately. Medicaid does not pay for what are sometimes referred to as lay nurse-midwives. I want to be clear that the midwives at Saint John’s are all certified, and they have been for many years. Certified nurse-midwife services that are covered by Medicaid include prenatal, delivery and post-partum obstetric care, as well as gynecological well-visit care.

Each patient is evaluated on her first visit to determine the level of care she needs. If a patient is determined to be high risk, her care is always provided by an OB/GYN physician.

At Saint John’s, all care provided by certified nurse-midwives is always overseen by an OB/GYN. If a midwife’s patient needs the care of an OB/GYN at any time, the OB/GYN provides that additional care and expertise. That’s the collective strength and advantage of Saint John’s comprehensive women’s health services team.

Saint John’s certified nurse-midwives are pleased to return to serving the women of this area at the Madison County Community Health Center in Anderson and Elwood and at Saint John’s Health System. They will continue to accept all patients, regardless of their ability to pay, including those with Medicaid coverage, those without health insurance and privately insured women.

It is Saint John’s privilege and calling to provide every person, regardless of their ability to pay or type of insurance, care that is safe, high-quality, compassionate and representative of our mission. We are proud to be able to offer our patients the exceptional services of our certified nurse midwives, our OB/GYN physicians and our entire women’s health services team, right here at Saint John’s.

Tom VanOsdol is president of Saint John’s Health System in Anderson.

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