Women's Health


MSDC has long advocated for women's health protections, the rights of women physicians, and affordable care for women's issues. MSDC works closes with ACOG, AAFP, AAP, and other specialty organizations to craft local legislation that allows DC to be the best place to practice women's and maternal medicine.

In the face of a maternal mortality crisis in the District, engagement in these issues is more important than ever. Learn more about how MSDC is working to protect the health of women, mothers, and babies in all wards in the city.

MSDC Statements and Testimony on Women's Health Issues

25th Council information coming soon!



Committee on Health Passes Prior Auth Reform Bill

Sep 26, 2023, 13:24 PM by MSDC Staff
Today marks a major step in passing DC's first bill to completely regulate the prior auth process within the District.


On Tuesday, the Committee on Health marked-up and passed B25-124, the Prior Authorization Reform Amendment Act.

B25-124 is MSDC's highest priority and would enact reasonable limits on prior authorization for the first time ever in the District. Today moves the bill one step closer to reality.

Currently the District is one of only nine states without any prior authorization restrictions in law. This bill would, among other things, prevent prior auths for cost alone, set time limits for prior auth considerations, prohibit prior auth for emergency care and medication assisted treatment, and require insurers to publish prior auth guidance publicly.

The marked-up bill makes some changes to the original bill:

  • Exempt Medicaid plans from the prohibition on prior auth solely due to cost to permit substitutes from drug formularies.
  • Prohibit prior auth for medication assisted treatment.
  • Permit DHCF to review prior authorizations at a different schedule than private insurers.
  • Among others.

The next step is for the Council Chair (Phil Mendelson) to add the bill to the Council's legislative agenda. If the bill is added to the consent agenda, it requires two votes. If the bill is added to the regular agenda, it will require three. The Chair noted today that, despite this bill being circulated since last year, the Department of Behavioral Health and Department of Healthcare Finance have finance concerns that may require appropriations to enact certain provisions.

For more information about the bill and how to be engaged with the process, visit msdc.org/priorauth.

Sample of Legislation MSDC Followed in Women's Health and Maternal Health

(See the whole list of bills here)

Postpartum Coverage Act of 2019 (B23-326)

What does the bill do? Extends postpartum inpatient and outpatient benefits to at least one year after childbirth

MSDC position: We support this legislation and the extension of insurance benefits to mothers and babies to help maternal health in the District

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Council and was signed into law by the Mayor on August 14, 2020.

Strengthening Reproductive Health Protections Act (B23-434)

What does the bill do? The bill prohibits the District government from interfering with patients' reproductive health decisions and prohibits employers from punishing physicians who perform abortions or sterilizations outside of their employment.

MSDC position: We support this legislation as it allows physicians freedom of practice.

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Committee on Government Operations in January. MSDC submitted testimony at the December hearing, and MSDC member Sara Imershein testified at the hearing. The Council passed the bill and the Mayor signed it into law on March 23, 2020.

Maternal Health Care Improvement and Expansion Act (B23-362)

What does the bill do? The bill extends coverage for maternal health issues and fertility preservation, creates a Maternal Health Center in the District, and mandates two hours of cultural competence CME for health care providers.

MSDC position: We oppose the bill without changes due to inclusion of mandatory CME and some of the definitions in the bill being medically questionable.

Current status: The bill had a hearing in the Committee on Health in December, with MSDC member Dr. Sara Imershein testifying for MSDC and ACOG.