The Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee (MMMRC) recently obtained a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help analyze maternal deaths and collect more timely data.
Thanks in part to leadership from Texas Medical Association members on the committee, the panel already has made important progress in studying the problems tied to maternal health, and this money will help further those efforts, says Helen Kent Davis, TMA’s associate vice president for governmental affairs.
The two-year grant of $553,209 per year will help the Texas MMMRC identify and review all pregnancy-associated deaths and to enter standardized data into the CDC’s Maternal Mortality Review Information Application system. The money also will help the MMMRC produce more up-to-date information.
In the panel’s 2020 biennial legislative report, for instance, the committee reported on data from 2013, Ms. Davis says.
With the grant, MMMRC has been able to begin reviewing 2019 and 2020 data as well, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The agency also has begun a preliminary review of 2020 cases that may be linked to COVID-19 as a cause of death.
Maternal health is a legislative priority for TMA, which has thrown its support behind legislation like House Bill 133 to provide 12 months of comprehensive post-partum coverage to mothers on Medicaid.
DSHS also reminds physicians of the many services Texas provides, including:
- Healthy Texas Women and Family Planning programs, which provide health and family planning services, including contraception, cancer screenings and pregnancy testing, at low or no cost. They also provide comprehensive care to eligible women for up to 12 months after childbirth.
- The Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, which provides screenings and diagnostic services for women to help identify breast and cervical cancers in its early stages when treatment is more likely to be effective.
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, which helps improve the diets of infants and children as well as pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women.
- Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers postpartum depression screening for the mother of an enrolled infant, regardless of whether the mother has Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, or other coverage.
- The Family Violence Program, which promotes self-sufficiency, safety, and long-term independence of adult and child victims of family violence and victims of teen dating violence.
DSHS also oversees the TexasAIM initiative, which helps hospitals and clinics improve maternal safety through implementing best practices. This year, 98% of Texas hospitals with obstetric service lines are enrolled in TexasAIM.
Last Updated On
May 19, 2021