• Women's Health Care

    • Invest In Preventive Care for Low-Income Women

      Despite significant gains in women’s health care funding and access last session, more work remains. Increasing the number of women who enroll in the Texas Women’s Health Program, Expanded Primary Health Care Program, and family planning programs, as well as increasing the number of physicians and clinics who participate, will be essential to Texas’ efforts to improve maternal health and birth outcomes.
  • The Latest In Women's Health Care

    • Texas Physicians Ask Lawmakers to Fund Critical Health Services
      Seven of Texas’ largest physician organizations — representing more than 48,000 physicians and medical students — today urged state House and Senate budget negotiators to “craft a cost-effective budget that addresses Texas significant health care needs.”  
    • Keep Perinatal Advisory Council
      We understand that a goal of HB 2304 is to reduce redundant or outdated councils and committees, while also directing the HHSC executive commissioner to appoint new advisory bodies where appropriate to solicit external expertise. But the Perinatal Council’s work is too important to suspend. Its work underpins a safe, effective system of care for pregnant women and newborns and ultimately will result in better birth outcomes. We urge your continued support.
    • State Budget Negotiations Begin
      Every legislative session, in the process of writing a two-year state budget, the Texas Senate and House of Representatives each craft their own version of the spending plan. The work of reconciling the differences between the House and Senate budgets falls to a 10-person conference committee appointed by the lieutenant governor and speaker of the house. The 2015 Texas Legislature reached that milestone for House Bill 1, this session’s budget bill, on April 23.
    • Improve Postpartum Care for Low-Income Women
      Postpartum depression is much more serious — and potentially fatal when left untreated.  Many low-income women with PPD struggle to obtain treatment. Stigma is certainly one factor, as is failure to recognize PPD symptoms. But so is the lack of health insurance. Pregnancy-related Medicaid ends 60 days postpartum; the CHIP Perinatal program covers only two postpartum visits. Without access to coverage, low-income mothers not only miss opportunities to be screened but also may ignore symptoms, hoping they will go away, or forego care because they cannot afford it. Many women turn to the emergency department, but EDs provide acute care. They are not equipped to provide ongoing interventions, such as therapy.
    • Dr. Van Ramshorst: CMV Education and Outreach Important for Women
      Physicians are concerned about language in SB791, which establishes a requirement for the birthing center to provide testing for CMV and refer an infant who fails their first newborn hearing screening. Physicians are already testing for CMV when there is a clinical indication or suspicion for disease. There are other indications for testing outside of a failed newborn hearing screening. The state should not dictate or outline standards of care in this instance.
  • Key Issues

    • Support Women's Health Care Services
      Access to preventive and preconception care—including health screenings and contraception—means healthy, planned pregnancies and early detection of cancers and other treatable conditions.
    • Improve Maternal and Infant Health
      Improving birth outcomes not only enhances the lives of babies, mothers, and their families, but also can yield substantial savings, particularly to publicly financed programs such as Medicaid, which covers 53 percent of all Texas births.
    • Reduce Texas' Maternal Mortality Rates
      Texas statistics for maternal mortality more closely resemble a third-world country than a state with world-class medical care. Factors that contribute to poor maternal and infant health are lack of early prenatal care, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Too many Texas women must confront some or all of these challenges.
  • Advocacy and Communication