Policy Strategies & Resources
This section of the Resource Center offers links to reports, websites, and resources to support practitioners, policy makers, and community stakeholders to improve preconception health and health care.
- The Report of the Secretary’s Advisory Council on Infant Mortality (SACIM): Recommendations for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Action and Framework for a National Strategy was published in January 2013. This report has a wealth of information, including suggested action areas for improving women’s health before, during, and after pregnancy.
- Addressing Women’s Health Needs and Improving Birth Outcomes: Results from a Peer-to-Peer State Medicaid Learning Project, summarizes state-by-state programmatic and policy activities that aim to identify and reduce health risks prior to and between pregnancy through effective health, health care, and healthcare financing strategies. This report was supported by the Commonwealth Fund and published in August 2012.
- The Policy and Finance Work Group of the Preconception Health and Health Care (PCHHC) Initiative has contributed to the development of strategies for health reform, coverage for all women, Medicaid interconception care waivers, and investments in public health programs. These and other policy strategies are summarized in a special journal supplement to Women’s Health Issues.
The Policy and Finance Work Group identified three major reforms in the design of health coverage to create a comprehensive women's benefit for women of reproductive age that included: an improved "well woman" benefit package; comprehensive treatment under an array of covered benefits categories for conditions diagnosed in women of childbearing age that are known to adversely affect maternal health and birth outcomes; and coverage of intensive interconception treatment for women whose prior pregnancies ended in an adverse outcome (e.g., fetal death, very low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality). A recommended article from the Women’s Health Issues mentioned above is Women and Health Insurance, Implications for Financing Preconception Health By Sara Rosenbaum.
Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will make affordable coverage available to millions of Americans. Most plans will be required to cover preventive services, including preconception care as part of well woman visits. Here are some great resources to learn more about the ACA.
- People can learn more and sign up for care at www.healthcare.gov.
- The October 2013 issue of the National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative’s e-newsletter focused on healthcare reform and preconception health.
- The Women and Health Reform website provides a host of resources on a variety of topics relating to women, health and health reform.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation has a wealth of resources on their website at www.kff.org. The Kaiser Family Foundation has a special focus on women’s health, with reports on women’s coverage, health status, and state-by-state policy information. For example, recent resources include a checklist of issues for women in ACA health exchanges and a fact sheet on the impact of the ACA for women. To view up-to-date resources and data visit: http://kff.org/womens-health-policy/
- Based on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, HRSA’s Guidelines for Women’s Clinical Preventive Services describe the preventive care benefits now available to hundreds of thousands of women – through private and publicly subsidized Exchange plans – without cost sharing (i.e., co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance).
- The Association for Maternal and Child Health Programs includes the National Center for Health Reform Implementation. This website includes information about expanding access to preventive health care, advancing quality maternal and child health programs, promoting service delivery integration, and improving healthcare quality and outcomes.
- There are additional resources posted about healthcare reform on the Every Woman Southeast Coalition’s website. Resources include a webinar, newsletters and more links.
- The HHS Office of Women’s Health has policy reports, and health information for women. Visit www.womenshealth.gov to learn more.