NJ Health Care Improvements


Former Hoboken Councilman Ruben Ramos makes NJ Political news this week regarding NJ Healthcare…

Bill package signed into Law

ruben-ramos-hobokenNew Laws Improve Way Obstetricians are Paid by Insurers; Grant More Responsibilities to Nurse Midwives

A legislative package sponsored by Assembly members Caridad Rodriguez, Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to improve health care services given by obstetricians and midwives was signed into law today by Governor Jon S. Corzine during a public ceremony at the Newark Community Health Center.

The first law (A-2539), sponsored by Rodriguez and Ramos, requires health insurance companies that provide coverage for maternity services to reimburse obstetricians and midwives over the course of a pregnancy, rather than after the delivery of a baby. The new law takes effect Sept. 1, 2010.

“We are doing more today than simply changing the way maternity service providers are paid,” said Rodriguez (D-Hudson). “We have laid the groundwork for more enthusiastic care on the part of obstetricians and midwives, which in turn will hopefully lead to more professionals opening shop in New Jersey.”

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“Asking medical professionals to go for almost a year without getting paid borders on the absurd,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Allowing them to be paid on an ongoing basis is a much more equitable and fair way to handle maternity services coverage.”

The second law (A-3110), sponsored by Rodriguez and Vainieri Huttle, permits certified nurse midwives to make certain decisions in disability benefits cases. Nurse midwives – who are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives and regulated by the state Board of Medical Examiners – are now recognized as “authorized medical professionals” with respect to the awarding of disability benefits under the state’s Temporary Disability Benefits law.

The new law also allows nurse midwives to certify an individual is medically unable to hold gainful employment under the Work First New Jersey law, which provides qualified residents with a temporary deferral from work.

“New Jersey’s trained and licensed nurse midwives already are empowered to make a host of medical decisions for women, including the ability to write prescriptions,” said Rodriguez. “Including them in the decision-making process for disability benefits in New Jersey just makes sense.”

“Following an accident, surgery or prolonged illness, many women may be without easy access to a physician, except through a visit to the emergency room,” said Vainieri Huttle. “Allowing women under the care of a nurse midwife access to many of the same services available to women under a doctor’s care, therefore, becomes especially important.”

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