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Should Midwives Get Equal Pay?

Let me set a scene. Two mothers choosing to give birth in a hospital setting. One woman chooses to use a certified nurse midwife for her birth, and the other goes with an Obstetrician. Both have identical births, no epidural, no need for extra care, because out of millions of births taking place annually there are bound to be two women that have mirrored experiences right?

Does the Obstetrician deserve to be paid more than the certified nurse midwife who did the exact same job, in the exact same time, and got identical results? I personally don’t think so, and there are some people who agree with me. Thankfully!

While certified nurse midwives all over the country are doing the exact same job as Obstetricians, they are often reimbursed far less by insurance companies… again, for doing the exact same job.

But this is about to change. Yay!! Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act midwives will be receiving the same insurance reimbursements from medicaid insured patients, as Obstetricians currently do. Only seems fair right?  Shockingly midwives have only been receiving roughly 65% of what their Obstetrician colleagues currently do, which even I didn’t know. I knew it was less, just not that much!

According to insurance experts, typically when medicaid makes a change of this nature, private insurance companies follow suit, although I personally am not optimistic because trying to get private insurance companies to  pay anything more than they already do, will be like trying to get blood from a rock. Although I can certainly be cautiously optimistic.

Because really, there is no reason they should not be getting equal pay for equal services.

What do you think?  Should midwives be making the same for these deliveries?

photo: flickr.com/SirLyric

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