Texas-RMOMS Comprehensive Maternal Care Network
The TX-RMOMS network aims to improve access to continuous, comprehensive, and integrated obstetrics services among women of reproductive age residing in the Val Verde service region (Val Verde County) and the Uvalde service region (Uvalde, Edwards, Real, Kinney, and Zavala counties) in southwest Texas. Compared to the state, these service areas have higher teen birth rates, larger physician-to-patient ratios, and lower median incomes. Over 20,000 women in the service regions are of reproductive age and most are Hispanic (71.4 percent in the Uvalde service region, 81.7 percent in the Val Verde service region).
The TX-RMOMS network brings together several health systems and stakeholders with the common goal of ensuring access to coordinated maternal health services from prenatal through postpartum care. University Health System, a nationally recognized teaching hospital and clinical network in San Antonio, serves as the lead agency. University Health System has historically served the urban San Antonio metropolitan area, but with the support of the RMOMS grant, the hospital is expanding its reach to include women residing in high-need rural service regions close to the Texas-Mexico border. Other partners in the TX-RMOMS network include a CAH, an acute care hospital, rural health clinic, an FQHC, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (the state Medicaid agency). TX-RMOMS also collaborates with state- and locally-funded programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Healthy Start.
The TX-RMOMS network plans to implement the following strategies to accomplish its goals:
- Recruit new staff to bolster network capacity, including perinatal case managers, behavioral health consultants (BHCs) within local clinics, and hospital-based nurse coordinators;
- Implement enhanced Perinatal Case Management (PCM) Services based on a Healthy Start-like model;
- Enhance skills of participating network providers through telehealth consultation and training;
- Improve access to clinical and care management services through telehealth, thereby reducing the need to travel to receive advanced services at University Health System in San Antonio; and
- Develop sophisticated care navigation and referral processes by using PCM and BCHs to assist with insurance navigation, behavioral health needs, and comprehensive post-delivery care.