Childbirth, one of life’s greatest joys, can morph into tragedy when the infant’s mother dies. Even one death is one too many. Thankfully, most maternal deaths — 80 percent in one state study — are preventable. And for every new mother who dies in Texas, another 50 to 100 experience serious, life-threatening conditions. Building on the work of state and national maternal health experts, Texas physicians propose a clinically proven list of interventions to counter this troubling trend.
This website includes the latest information from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on the program eligibility process, patient benefits, program fact sheets, and outreach materials for three programs:
What else, you ask? You will find the updated version of THE TEXAS Long-Acting Reversible Contraception TOOLKIT which provides information that physicians and their teams can use to increase LARC availability and addresses some common billing and reimbursement questions. Interested in helping identify and provide treatment for women with postpartum depression? The Texas Clinician’s Postpartum Depression Toolkit (Vol2) is available to put all of the pieces together – from screening tools and treatment to coding and billing for uninsured and underinsured women.
Almost 40 percent of Texas women who died while pregnant or within a year of giving birth in 2012 did so for causes related to their pregnancy, the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force and Department of State Health Services Joint Biennial Report says. Most of those deaths were preventable.
Along with his 8-point plan to improve maternal health in Texas, TMA Immediate Past President Carlos Cardenas, MD, won approval for his goal to eliminate maternal deaths in the state. “One maternal death is one too many,” he said.
According to a new DSHA report released this week, some people might think Texas' maternal health crisis isn't really a crisis at all. But physicians know better, saying maternal death and illness remain serious problems that need a lot of attention. "We're not excelling even with the new numbers."
The Council on Science and Public Health and the Committee on Reproductive, Women’s, and Perinatal Health joined forces with the Council on Legislation, and the Select Committee on Medicaid, CHIP, and the Uninsured to convene the Maternal Health Congress on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at TMA. Recognizing the complex social, medical, economic, and public health issues associated with poor maternal health, TMA President Carlos J. Cardenas formed this physician-led congress to build a legislative platform on maternal health in time for the 86th legislative session. Invited TMA members and health care organizations began the day with presentations on key topics related to maternal health and then convened for a reference committee hearing on proposals to address maternal health.
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While maternal mortality is decreasing in most countries, maternal death rates in the U.S. have been increasing and Texas is recognized as having the highest maternal death rate in the country. Texas’ own study on maternal deaths indicates that Texas’ rates have nearly doubled in recent years. Some of the leading factors contributing to Texas’ maternal deaths include drug overdose, cardiac events, hypertension/eclampsia, and hemorrhage — factors that require the care and treatment of a physician and health care team. And with most maternal deaths occurring many months after childbirth, coordinated and comprehensive postpartum care provided by a physician is essential for the early identification and monitoring of health issues and complications that can develop post childbirth. Individual behavioral factors that put women at risk of maternal illness such as smoking, drug use, and obesity further complicate the care of the woman, and the need for comprehensive and timely community support and care even months after giving birth.
Read the following TMA articles:
TMA’s Maternal Health Congress Turns Spotlight on Saving New Moms (Texas Medicine Today, March 27, 2018)
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) invited physicians, health care professionals, and public health experts to review the recent findings of the state’s Maternal and Morbidity Task Force, and the current state initiatives to address maternal health and safety. Three workgroups will identify challenges and develop action plans to reduce maternal deaths and morbidity through the areas of systems of care, public health systems, and data.
The Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force was created by Senate Bill 495, which passed during the 83rd Legislative Session in 2013. The multidisciplinary task force studies and reviews cases of pregnancy-related deaths and trends in severe maternal morbidity, and makes recommendations to help reduce the incidence of pregnancy-related deaths and severe maternal morbidity in Texas.
DSHS Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force
Maternal Mortality and Morbidity task force report
Legislation: Senate Bill 495, 83rd, 2013; Senate Bill 1599, 85th , 2017; Senate Bill 17 85th (1), 2017
DSHS Grand Rounds, Healthy Texas Babies: Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review, May 14
Death Record Related Bills Passed During the 2017 Legislative Session
Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies
Texas Perinatal Advisory Council
Maintain Level of Care Standards for Neonatal and Maternal Hospitals(TMA Testimony by Eugene Toy, MD, March 5, 2019)
Improve Access to Maternal Health Care(TMA Testimony by Eugene Toy, MD, March 5, 2019)
Strengthen Maternal Mortality Data Reporting(TMA Written Testimony, March 5, 2019)
Improve Maternal Health by Expanding Access to Care(Testimony by Emily Briggs, MD, Feb. 6, 2019)
Just like you, TMA is committed to stopping Texas mothers from dying. Here's how you can help.