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ACNM Policy Update - 7/24/2014

July 24, 2014


1. ACNM and CMS to Hold Webinar on Outcome of Maternal/Child Health Expert Panel
2. CMS Publishes Proposed CY 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
3. EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination
4. AHRQ Issues Evidence Report on Antidepressant Treatment During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period


1. ACNM and CMS to Hold Webinar on Outcome of Maternal/Child Health Expert Panel

On July 29 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, ACNM and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a joint webinar during which agency staff will provide ACNM members with an overview of the work of an expert panel on maternal and infant outcomes in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. In August 2013, the panel provided a series of strategies for consideration for improving maternal and infant outcomes and the agency has decided to focus on two of those recommendations in the near future. During the webinar we will discuss CMS' plans for addressing those strategies and how midwives can assist in that effort. We are limited to 100 lines for this webinar, so we encourage you to register early. If there is more than one person in your organization interested in the webinar, it would be helpful if you could all participate from a single location, in order to maximize available lines. To register for the webinar, click here.
 
2. CMS Publishes Proposed CY 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On July 11, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published in the Federal Register the CY 2015 proposed Medicare physician fee schedule. This document outlines payment updates and policy changes proposed for application to services provided to Medicare beneficiaries on or after January 1, 2015. Many other payers utilize the payment methodologies and policies outlined in this document. ACNM staff have prepared a detailed description of key aspects of the proposal impacting midwives.

3. EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination
 
On July 14, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updated enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination. This is the first comprehensive update of the guidance since 1983. Among other topics, the updated guidance discusses:
-- Prohibitions on discrimination apply not only to current pregnancy, but also to past pregnancies and potential future pregnancies
-- Lactation is a covered pregnancy related condition
-- Circumstances under which employer may have to provide light duty to pregnant employees
-- A prohibition against requiring pregnant employees who can perform their duties to take leave
-- The requirement that parental leave be provided to similarly situated men and women on the same terms
-- When employers may have to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy-related impairments and the nature of those accommodations
-- Best practices for employers to avoid unlawful discrimination against pregnant employees.

4. AHRQ Issues Evidence Report on Antidepressant Treatment During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period

On July 15, 2014, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced the availability of an Evidence Report/Technology Assessment on "Antidepressant Treatment of Depression During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period." AHRQ regularly produces systematic reviews of evidence related to various healthcare services to ensure that providers and payers have the best aggregated data to guide the care they provide and pay for. Among the members of the expert panel advising AHRQ on this report was ACNM member Cathy Emeis, PhD, CNM.


Should you have questions about federal issues in any ACNM Policy Update, please contact Jesse Bushman, ACNM’s Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at [email protected] or 240-485-1843.

Should you have questions about state issues in any ACNM Policy Update, please contact Cara Kinzelman, ACNM’s Manager of State Government Affairs at [email protected] or 240-485-1841.



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

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