New Mexico Rural Obstetrics Access and Maternal Services (ROAMS)
The ROAMS network includes rural Colfax, Taos, and Union counties in northeastern New Mexico, a mountainous, geographically isolated area with a population of just 50,000, including over 9,000 women of reproductive age. The network serves a high-poverty population and reports numerous pressing maternal health challenges, including high prevalence of unplanned and teen pregnancy, maternal and infant mortality, and substance use disorder. Women face significant geographic and socioeconomic barriers to maternal care; in Union County in the far northeastern corner of the state, there are no obstetrics services at all. ROAMS has the smallest and most isolated patient population of the three awardees.
Holy Cross Medical Center in Taos County serves as the lead agency for the ROAMS network, which consists of three Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), an FQHC, a home visiting program, and Centennial Care (the state Medicaid agency). In addition, ROAMS plans to work with several support service providers in the three counties and to establish a telehealth relationship with a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist. The network ultimately aims to improve access to care in its underserved service area, improve maternal health and family education and outreach, and achieve greater financial and network sustainability for maternal and obstetrics services.
To achieve these goals, the ROAMS network plans to:
- Establish a relationship with an MFM specialty provider for high-risk pregnancies to help mothers receive care closer to home for as long as possible;
- Create and maintain in-office and home telehealth services, including telehealth Grand Rounds and collaboration with the MFM provider, to reduce geographic barriers to access and patient travel times;
- Establish two new prenatal clinics in underserved areas;
- Promote greater utilization of support services by offering advertising and social media assistance to support service agencies and employing patient navigators to connect pregnant women to local offerings; and
- Promote greater enrollment in Medicaid and increased Medicaid reimbursement for obstetrics services to help sustain ROAMS.
ROAMS will also promote collaboration between stakeholders through a Governing Council and incorporate feedback from mothers through surveys and a Mothers Advisory Council.