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Doula Access Through Medicaid Managed Care Improves Maternal Health

February 2024
Full report

This analysis uses data from nine Elevance Health-affiliated Medicaid plans to compare outcomes among women with and without doula care. Women with a doula were more likely to have pregnancy complications and yet experienced better outcomes when compared to women without a doula.

One approach to address the increasing maternal morbidity and mortality rates in the U.S. includes offering doula support to women. Medicaid programs have the option to cover doula services for beneficiaries, with approximately one quarter of states actively providing doula coverage as a Medicaid benefit. Doulas serve as an effective strategy to address disparities, especially among women who are at higher risk for maternal morbidity and mortality.

This evaluation compares demographics, access, and outcomes between women receiving doula care compared to women not receiving doula care. This paper also provides lessons learned and considerations that could help inform Medicaid programs interested in implementing a doula benefit.


  • Maternal Morbidity and Mortality
  • State Medicaid Doula Activity
  • Doula Care Evaluation
  • Lessons Learned and Considerations

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