New UT Medical School program open daily to help high-risk moms-to-be
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston is now providing valuable assistance to high-risk expectant mothers on Medicaid. The new case management program, which is part of the Texas Department of State Health Service’s Children and Pregnant Women (CPW) program, will focus on pinpointing potential problems and carrying out an action plan for the care of the mother and her unborn baby.
Mency Anderson, director of the school’s Case Management Program and a licensed clinical social worker, said the program is a way to help both mom and baby. “A pregnancy is considered high risk by an ob-gyn if there are tell-tale signs like the age of the patient, preexisting conditions in the mother, or health issues with the unborn baby,” Anderson said. “We can help the expectant mother find out about financial assistance, transportation to prenatal appointments, parenting options, housing, and even referrals to specialists.”
The program focuses not just on the patient, but also provides a family needs assessment. “For instance, if the high risk mom-to-be is a teenager, we request interviews with her parents so we can evaluate the particular needs of the family,” Anderson said.
Program services continue after the baby is born. Anderson said they can evaluate the new mother’s state of mind, and guide her on how to set up well-baby checkups and access other community assistance programs.
Susan Ramin, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UT Medical School, sees this service playing an important role in the ob-gyn department. “The goal is to provide the necessary services to high-risk pregnant women of all ages to obtain the best pregnancy outcomes for both mothers and their babies,” she said.
To enroll in the program, Medicaid recipients must be referred by a physician in the Houston area. The new UT Medical School program is now listed on the state’s providers list.
Medicaid is the U.S. health insurance program for individuals and families with low incomes.
The UT Medical School’s Case Management center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at The University of Texas Professional Building, 6410 Fannin, Suite 720. Physicians can call 832-325-7298 with referrals or to get more information.
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