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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What States and Health Plans are covered by doula services?
    Arizona United HealthCare Community and State California Medi-Cal Plans HealthNet Health Plan of San Mateo LA Care Partnership Health Plan of California Florida Medicaid Plans Aetna Community Care Plan Clear Health Alliance Molina Simply Health Sunshine (Centene) United HealthCare Community and State Georgia Medicaid Plan AmeriGroup Kansas Medicaid Plan United HealthCare Community and State Kentucky Medicaid Plan United HealthCare Community and State Missouri Medicaid Healthy Blue North Carolina Medicaid Plan United HealthCare Community and State Pennsylvania Wellspan Health Highmark Whole Care Texas Medicaid Plan United HealthCare Community and State Washington Medicaid Plan United HealthCare Community and State
  • How do I sign up for doula services?
    Before signing up for doula services, you need to confirm that TDN provides services in your state. You can check on the 'birthing persons' tab. If you know that TDN provides doula services in your region, you can click here to fill out the request form.
  • What does a doula do? What does a doula not do?
    A birth doula is a trained non-medical companion who supports pregnant individuals before, during, and after birth. They serve as advocates in the birth space, assisting in making informed decisions. A doula provides hands-on support, educational resources, emotional support, and connects clients with the larger birthing community.
  • What kinds of births can a doula support?
    A doula can support all types of births, including home births, hospital births, birth center births, unmedicated births, births with epidurals, and even births of twins. However, doulas do not perform medical procedures or offer medical advice.
  • What should I expect with my birth doula?
    When you work with a birth doula, you can expect pregnancy visits where you'll create a birth plan, get to know your doula, prepare for your birth, and learn comfort measures. During birth, your doula will support you through labor and delivery and stay with you for a short time after. They can also help with the initial stages of breastfeeding. After birth, your doula can provide resources, debrief your birthing experience, and assist with adjusting to life after birth.
  • What benefits are covered by Medicaid?
    For eligible clients, Medicaid covers birth doula support at no cost. This includes pregnancy and post-birth visits, with the option for virtual or in-person visits, and in-person labor and delivery support. The number of pregnancy and post-birth visits depends on your specific Medicaid plan.
  • How can I learn more about doula services?
    If you're interested in having a doula support your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, you can click the 'Request a Doula' button at the bottom of our website to fill out a form. If you have additional questions, you can email or schedule a 15-minute intake appointment with us.
  • What is the benefit of having a doula?
    A doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to individuals and couples before, during, and after childbirth. The benefits of having a doula can be significant and include: Emotional support: Doulas offer continuous emotional support, providing reassurance, comfort, and encouragement throughout labor and childbirth. They can help reduce anxiety and fear, which can contribute to a more positive birth experience. Physical support: Doulas can assist with comfort measures such as positioning, massage, and relaxation techniques to help manage pain and discomfort during labor. They can also suggest breathing exercises and other strategies to cope with contractions. Information and education: Doulas provide evidence-based information and guidance about the childbirth process, medical interventions, and various birthing options. They can help individuals make informed decisions about their care and advocate for their preferences. Communication and advocacy: Doulas can communicate with healthcare providers on behalf of the birthing person, ensuring that their wishes and preferences are respected. They can help bridge the gap between the medical team and the family. Reduced intervention rates: Research has shown that having a doula present during labor can lead to lower rates of medical interventions, such as cesarean sections, epidurals, and the use of Pitocin. Doulas can help individuals navigate the birthing process and potentially reduce the need for medical interventions. Improved birth satisfaction: Many people report greater satisfaction with their birth experience when they have a doula's support. Having someone who is solely focused on their well-being can create a more positive and empowering birth experience. Partner support: Doulas also support partners, providing guidance on how to best support the birthing person and offering relief when needed. This allows partners to actively participate in the birth without feeling overwhelmed. Postpartum support: Some doulas offer postpartum services, helping with breastfeeding, newborn care, and emotional support during the early postpartum period. This can ease the transition into parenthood. Decreased stress and anxiety: Doulas can help reduce stress and anxiety during labor by providing a calming presence, information, and support. Lower stress levels can lead to better birth outcomes. Increased confidence: The presence of a doula can boost a birthing person's confidence, as they feel more prepared, informed, and supported throughout the birthing process. References :: Bohren, M. A., Hofmeyr, G. J., Sakala, C., Fukuzawa, R. K., & Cuthbert, A. (2017). Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7), CD003766. Hodnett, E. D., Gates, S., Hofmeyr, G. J., & Sakala, C. (2013). Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (7), CD003766.
  • What does it mean to be credentialed, and what are the requirements?
    Being credentialed means meeting certain standards set by health plans or state doula programs. The requirements for credentialing include completing training or certification as a birth doula, passing a background check (OIG), getting CPR/First Aid training, undergoing HIPAA training, and filling out an application form that includes information about where you provide your services.
  • Is there a fee to join The Doula Network?
    No, there is no fee to become part of The Doula Network community. However, there are associated costs like doula certification and CPR/First Aid training that you might need to cover.
  • Do I need liability insurance?
    If you work with The Doula Network, you don't need your own liability insurance. We provide insurance coverage for doula support in various settings. However, if you have private clients, please note that our insurance won't cover them.
  • How are doula reimbursement rates set?
    The Doula Network negotiates directly with health plans to set reimbursement rates that are fair and competitive for birth doula services. We also negotiate an administrative fee, in addition to the doula's rate, to provide our support services. The contract between The Doula Network and the health plan aims to improve members' access to doula care and includes a full list of additional support services.
  • How are doulas reimbursed?
    Doulas working with The Doula Network are independent contractors. After providing care to a client, we review and verify the documentation and submit the claim for reimbursement to the insurance provider. We then monitor the progress of the claim, follow up with the health plan to address any issues or rejections, and ensure that doula payments are processed. Each health plan has its approved billing codes and reimbursement rates for different types of care. Doulas are paid through direct deposit and receive an annual 1099 form from The Doula Network. Payments are typically received within 2-4 weeks after submitting a claim. Currently, The Doula Network has a 100% reimbursement success rate.
  • Can I take a retainer until payment comes?
    No, as a Medicaid and health plan insurance benefit, you can't charge money directly to your clients for birth doula services. However, if you offer non-birth doula-related services, like placenta encapsulation, you can create a separate contract and charge a fee for those services, as long as it doesn't include birth doula services.
  • How are clients referred to The Doula Network?
    Clients can be referred to The Doula Network in several ways: Doulas can refer their own clients by completing an online referral form. We verify the benefit eligibility with the health plan and contact the client to confirm eligibility. We provide ongoing support and resources throughout the client's pregnancy, and we alert the doula about any changes that may impact reimbursement. Clients can submit their own referral to request doula support by completing an online form. After confirming insurance eligibility, we communicate with the client and help them choose a doula from their community. We set up the client's record and provide ongoing support throughout the pregnancy. Health Plan Case Management Teams discuss doula service options with health plan members and make direct referrals to The Doula Network. We verify benefits upon receiving the referral, and the client chooses a doula from their community. Community partners supporting families in their communities can also refer clients to doula services via fax, email, or online referral. We verify benefits upon receiving the referral, and the client chooses a doula from their community. Any other provider or individual can refer clients to doula services by submitting a referral using a paper or online form. We verify benefits upon receiving the referral, and the client chooses a doula from their community.
  • What are the documentation and charting requirements?
    Documentation and charting of client encounters are required for insurance reimbursement. The Doula Network provides doulas with access to TDNx, a HIPAA-compliant EHR software used for charting client encounters and processing claims, at no cost. Charting involves creating a basic narrative of client encounters, including prenatal visits, labor and birth support, and postpartum care. Doulas are asked to chart hourly during labor/birth support or whenever a key event occurs. The Doula Network offers ongoing support and technical assistance for charting, and we continue to make enhancements to TDNx based on doula feedback.
  • How does The Doula Network support doulas?
    The Doula Network supports doulas in various ways, including: Advocating for fair doula reimbursement rates and removing certification barriers. Managing paperwork, monitoring client insurance, and resolving payment issues. Helping doulas obtain National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) and Medicaid IDs. Providing financial security, case management, and community referrals. Offering HIPAA-compliant EHR software and daily support. Providing learning opportunities and collaborating with partners. Offering a supportive network including an online community Supplying marketing materials for doula outreach events and referral partners. Advocating for doula services at the state and national level.
  • Does The Doula Network tell doulas what to do or how to care for clients?
    No, The Doula Network supports the knowledge, autonomy, and expertise of doulas serving their communities. Doulas' businesses and management are independent from The Doula Network. We do not dictate how doulas provide care to families. However, if complex client situations arise and doulas need additional information or support to meet a client's needs, The Doula Network is available to help with navigating health plan benefits, finding providers, referrals for mental health care, or other community resources. Doulas maintain the primary relationship with their clients, and The Doula Network provides administrative support. We follow a framework that outlines dos and don'ts but do not dictate the specifics of visits or care provided. Doulas are not required to accept a specific number of clients per month or year.
  • How can I learn more about working with The Doula Network?
    If you are interested in working with The Doula Network, you can click the ‘Become a Credentialed Doula’ link on our website. If you still have questions, you can schedule an appointment to talk to Brianica DeFranc, TDN’s Doula Outreach Specialist.
  • How can TDN support a health plan?
    DN provides administrative and business resources to support the utilization of the doula benefit. TDN's extensive experience in working with state plan amendments, value-added benefits, and in lieu of service benefits means that TDN can positively impact a health plan's doula program. To learn more, please fill out the contact form on our website.
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