Q&A with Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs on Innovations in Maternal Health

The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is a Modern Medicaid Alliance member and a national resource, partner and advocate for state public health leaders and others working to improve the health of women, children, youth and families, including those with special health care needs.

To better understand the current threats facing maternal and child health coverage under Medicaid, we sat down with Amy Haddad, the director of public policy and government affairs at AMCHP.

Modern Medicaid Alliance: Tell us about the mission of AMCHP and your role at the organization.

Amy Haddad: Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) leads and supports programs nationally to protect and promote the optimal health of women, children, youth, family and communities. Our core membership are professionals who work in public health departments, particularly those who work in maternal and child health.

Modern Medicaid Alliance: Why did AMCHP join the Modern Medicaid Alliance?

Amy Haddad: AMCHP recognizes the essential role that Medicaid can and does play in maternal and child health outcomes, including those with special health care needs. AMCHP joined the Modern Medicaid Alliance because we want to play a bigger part in making sure the public and policymakers understand this.

Modern Medicaid Alliance: How does Medicaid help mothers, expectant mothers and their children receive the care and support they need?

Amy Haddad: Around half of all births in the United States are covered by Medicaid, so the care that a woman receives during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, during the post-partum period are all dependent on a well-functioning Medicaid system of support, care and access.

Modern Medicaid Alliance: What are some of the programs provided through Medicaid that help mothers, expectant mothers and their children live and thrive in their communities?

Amy Haddad: I’d like to highlight the crucial role that Medicaid plays in the lives of children and youth with special health care needs. As many as 1 in 5 children in the US have special health care needs and many rely on a variety of medical and long-term supports to manage complex conditions. AMCHP is proud of the role our members play in helping navigate and coordinate the system of care for children and youth with special health care needs and know intimately the essential role of Medicaid in ensuring that families receive all of the care they need.

Modern Medicaid Alliance: Are there unique considerations because of COVID-19 for mothers, expectant mothers and their children who rely on Medicaid?

Amy Haddad: AMCHP strongly believes that all women should be entitled to 12-months of post-partum Medicaid coverage regardless of their pathway into Medicaid. The current pandemic is spotlighting just how important it is to have continuous coverage to address both routine and unforeseen needs that may arise. While the disenrollment freeze that is currently in place because of the public health emergency is really important to achieving that, we need a longer-term solution to make sure that no woman loses her coverage in the post-partum period.

Modern Medicaid Alliance: Are there certain Medicaid innovations in the states that are currently helping to promote the health of mothers, expectant mothers and their children?

Amy Haddad: There are great examples of innovation to help promote the health of mothers, expectant mothers and their children. A few that come to mind are CenteringPregnancy or group prenatal care, Medicaid coverage of doula support and Medicaid coverage for home visiting. They’re being implemented in various states with promising results and potential replication in other states.

Modern Medicaid Alliance: What are some of the current most serious threats to Medicaid funding for mothers, expectant mothers and their children that concern AMCHP today?

Amy Haddad: In light of COVID-19, we are concerned that declines in state revenue could lead to serious state budget cuts which could negatively impact Medicaid funding available for maternal and child health services. We also worry about block grant approaches to Medicaid and the effect that would have on restricting enrollment or the scope of the services that are covered. Finally, I’ll add access to providers which is why we are in favor of increasing reimbursement for primary care providers.

 

Watch the video version of our Q&A here.

 

Amy Haddad is the director of policy and government affairs at AMCHP.

In this role, she leads our work to advocate for Title V appropriations; she promotes AMCHP’s policy priorities, represents AMCHP in various policy coalitions, and supports the Legislative and Health Care Finance Committee. Prior to assuming this position, she served as the associate director of government affairs for more than three years.  Before joining AMCHP, Ms. Haddad served as the director of public policy for Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy and brings over seven years of Capitol Hill experience, including six years as legislative assistant to Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA). In addition, she spent over two years living in Tel Aviv as the country director of a small nonprofit organization. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.