Amerigroup and Texas Tech Physicians launch supportive pregnancy care in the Texas Permian Basin
Funding from Amerigroup and support from Texas Tech Physicians makes the innovative March of Dimes prenatal care program accessible to expectant parents in West Texas.
Amerigroup Texas, one of the largest managed healthcare coordinators in the state, has joined with Texas Tech Physicians to launch a prenatal care support program for expectant parents. The program, known as Supportive Pregnancy Care, is offered by March of Dimes and provides expectant parents in West Texas with access to clinical care from licensed professionals, training from prenatal experts and social support from other participants.
“Amerigroup Texas remained committed to identifying alarming health disparities and addressing them with innovative solutions that improve and save lives,” said Dr. Cealee Thomas, Chief Medical Officer of Amerigroup Texas. “Our collaboration with Texas Tech Physicians and March of Dimes to expand West Texans’ access to effective and impactful resources will not only improve equity in maternal and child health, but will also have a profound impact on families and communities. communities.”
The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries for childbirth, and Texas is among the ten states with the highest maternal mortality. The 2020 March of Dimes report card shows that the rate of premature births in Texas has risen steadily over the past five years, earning the state a “D” grade. Across the country, two babies die every hour and two women die every day from pregnancy-related complications.
A pilot study by March of Dimes found that compared to patients receiving traditional prenatal care, participants in pregnancy support care were 68% more likely to attend postpartum visits and 84% more likely to initiate breastfeeding at birth. Additionally, group prenatal care has demonstrated an overall 33% reduction in preterm births and a reduction in health inequalities – reducing preterm births in black women by 41% or more.
“The maternal and child health crisis facing our country is disproportionately impacting pregnant women and babies of color,” said Amy Johnson-Rubio, director of maternal and child health at March of Dimes. “Better access to quality care for people giving birth – and better support before, during and after pregnancy – makes a huge difference. We are thrilled to partner with Amerigroup and Texas Tech Physicians on pregnancy care for support, which can help break down some of the barriers to care encountered during pregnancy and create better health outcomes.”
Pregnancy Supportive Care sessions give pregnant women more time with their health care providers than they would normally have during conventional prenatal checkups. And through the group setting, expectant parents receive prenatal care and education, as well as vital social and emotional support from fellow participants.
The program connects groups of 8 to 12 participants with two healthcare professionals who lead sessions lasting up to two hours each. Participants receive physical assessments and vital signs readings, and they participate in educational talks that cover topics ranging from labor and delivery to mindfulness and relaxation. A licensed obstetrics provider also meets with participants one-on-one during each session to perform a physical assessment and discuss specific concerns.
“Reducing treatable and preventable pregnancy-related issues through these types of collaborative efforts provides critical support for expectant parents,” said Michael Galloway, MD, regional director of the Department of OB/GYN at Texas Tech University. Health Sciences Center. . “In addition to connecting people to an excellent network of peers and providers, these programs help identify health issues early in pregnancy and treat them before they threaten the health of parents or babies. By helping people have healthier pregnancies, this initiative will save lives.”
More than 50 sites in 30 states currently offer March of Dimes pregnancy supportive care programs to help improve childbirth experiences and maternal and child health outcomes. Texas Tech Physicians are currently recruiting participants for pregnancy supportive care programs that will begin in six to eight weeks.
For more information or to register for the program, contact Texas Tech Physicians at (432) 703-5510.
ABOUT AMERIGROUP TEXAS
Amerigroup Texas helps improve access and quality of healthcare for more than one million Texans by developing innovative care management programs and services. Consumers are assured of receiving care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Amerigroup Texas provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage consumers to become active participants in their healthcare. Through health education programs, consumers are empowered to choose and maintain a healthy lifestyle. For more information about Amerigroup Texas, visit www.myamerigroup.com/tx.
ABOUT THE WALK OF TITHES
March of Dimes is leading the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, run programs, and provide education and advocacy so that every mother and baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful legacy of 80 years of impact and innovation, we’re here for every family – those who’ve struggled firsthand, those celebrating their health, and those just trying to start a family. Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information.