|Posted:||July 19, 2021 03:09 PM|
|From:||Senator Lisa Baker|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Providing Access to Pasteurized Donor Human Milk|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation requiring health insurers to provide coverage for the use of medically prescribed pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) in inpatient and outpatient settings for children under the age of 12 months. To qualify for coverage, the child’s mother must be medically or physically unable to produce maternal breast milk in an amount needed to meet a child’s needs. The donor milk must also be obtained from a milk bank licensed in Pennsylvania pursuant to the Keystone Mother’s Milk Bank Act (Act 7 of 2020).
An all human milk diet provides powerful, unparalleled protection against serious health complications that can lead to longer hospital stays, multiple medical and surgical procedures, readmissions, life-long disability, or even death, while also increasing rates of exclusive maternal breastfeeding. Donor milk is also medically prescribed for children with heart problems and other health care issues, including neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which occurs when infants are exposed to opioids or other substances of abuse in utero. In addition, when a mother’s own milk is unavailable, the use of PDHM for necessary supplementation is a proven, cost effective way to improve health outcomes and lower health care costs.
My legislation will ensure that evidence-based insurance coverage is provided to mothers and their infants for PDHM and will help to improve both the short-term and long-term outcomes for the small subset of infants who are unable to thrive on commercially available specialty formulas or who have medical conditions that require human milk. Finally, this insurance coverage will address equity issues associated with disparities in access to donor milk, thereby yielding significant health benefits for our most medically fragile and vulnerable infants in Pennsylvania.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this life-saving legislation.