Extending Maternal Care After Pregnancy Program

A few months after giving birth to a healthy baby girl at Parkland, Taelor had back pain so severe that she would freeze in place. She was helpless and wanted to go to the doctor but couldn’t because her Medicaid coverage ran out 60 days after having her baby. This meant she had to pay out of pocket for any doctor visits – money she didn’t have.

Thankfully, Taelor didn’t have any serious complications, but as a first-time mom she wishes she could have made an appointment to help put her mind at ease. Parkland’s new Extending Maternal Care After Pregnancy program aims to ensure that mothers like her have access to the critical care they need.

The Facts

  • Medicaid coverage ends after 60 days post-delivery. More than 90% of the women who deliver at Parkland use Medicaid funding, significantly higher than other hospitals.
  • More than half of all maternal deaths in Texas occur in the gap between where Medicaid coverage ends and the first year postpartum.
  • Black women have the highest risk of pregnancy-related mortality in Texas.
  • As many as 40% of women don’t attend one postpartum visit.

The Reality

Black women and babies have the highest mortality rates in Dallas County. While the statistics are sobering, these deaths are potentially preventable. The increase in postpartum deaths combined with the results from the Community Needs Health Assessment have brought to light the health disparities related to maternal morbidity and mortality by race, ethnicity and by geographic location.

The Solution

To ensure women receive the healthcare they need after childbirth to address complications before they become fatal, Parkland is filling the gap left by Medicaid, extending care a full year after delivery.

Parkland's Extending Maternal Care After Pregnancy Program marries the medical approach with a community-based approach to address physical, mental and environmental risks in targeted, vulnerable ZIP codes within Dallas County. Rather than asking a new mother to travel to an appointment, a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare providers is transported via a mobile health van to the woman’s home. The program will also include telehealth appointments and integration with community health workers who will offer social support and resources.

As Parkland innovates to save the lives of mothers in our community, other health systems in the nation will be watching closely, with an eye to replicate this new model of postpartum care to save lives in their communities.

You Can Help!

Providing our most vulnerable neighbors access to the care they need is critical. But we can’t do it alone; we need your help. Make your gift today to provide the quality, compassionate care that everyone deserves.

Make a Gift to Support Parkland's Extending Maternal Care After Pregnancy Program