Core Principles

Arkansas only has 37 hospitals with labor and delivery services. Women living in areas without access to care will incur substantial costs due to travel and lodging.

One of the most significant barriers to access results from inadequate public health insurance reimbursement rates. Low rates cause issues for hospitals in hiring doctors and nurses.

If Medicaid does not adequately reimburse for care, then health care providers cannot provide services without losing money, forcing the closure of clinics and hospitals. To address the access gap, AIM supports increasing reimbursement rates for providers who deliver babies (both doctors and midwives).

Currently, Medicaid coverage is limited to 60 days postpartum. As any parent can attest, the challenges and needs that come with caring for an infant extend well beyond 60 days postpartum coverage.

A key recommendation in the 2022 Arkansas Maternal Mortality Review Committee report was the extension of insurance coverage from 60 days to one year postpartum “to monitor the mother’s physical and mental health, provide support during the transition, and ensure access to treatment.”

To make access to comprehensive postpartum care more affordable, AIM supports the bipartisan effort to increase Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum.

The quality of healthcare before, during and after pregnancy can affect long-term health outcomes. Multiple factors contribute to Arkansas' poor maternal health outcomes, including relatively high rates of poverty and large rural areas with limited obstetric care.

All Arkansans should have access to highly-skilled and licensed OB/GYNs and perinatal care providers. To ensure mothers and children have the highest quality of care, AIM supports increasing funding for workforce training through medical schools and increasing the number of residency slots to train providers in Arkansas.