AUSTIN -– The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced today the launch of an enhanced postpartum care services package for eligible women enrolled in Healthy Texas Women, called HTW Plus. Beginning September 1, approximately 90,000 Healthy Texas Women clients will automatically receive this new postpartum care coverage for up to 12 months.
“Routine and timely postpartum care is critical in improving the overall health of mothers and babies in Texas,” said Michelle Alletto, Texas HHS chief program and services officer. “Improving and enhancing these services further ensures continuity of care to women at all stages of life.”
In addition to the array of core women’s health and family planning services offered by the Healthy Texas Women program, HTW Plus provides physical health, mental health, and substance use disorder services that address asthma, diabetes, hypertension, certain cardiovascular conditions, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders including postpartum depression, and substance use disorders including drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.
“Maternal mortality is an important issue for all Texans, and that’s why I authored and passed Senate Bill 750 with bipartisan support,” said State Sen. Lois W. Kolkhorst, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. “Our state will provide these targeted treatments, such as mental health, diabetes, asthma, addiction, and heart disease, so that we can directly improve our state’s maternal mortality rate and keep every Texas woman safe.”
Covered services include:
- Cardiovascular imaging and laboratory studies, blood pressure monitoring equipment, and antihypertensive, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet medications
- Diabetes management services including labs, additional injectable insulin options, blood glucose testing supplies, and voice-integrated glucometers for women with diabetes who are visually impaired
- Asthma medications and supplies
- Psychotherapy and peer specialist services for postpartum depression and other mental health conditions
- Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT); medication assisted treatment (MAT); and peer specialist services for the management of substance use disorders
- Tobacco cessation drugs
While all women in Healthy Texas Women have access to screening, diagnosis, and medication to treat postpartum depression, women with HTW Plus coverage will also be able to receive outpatient individual, family, and group psychotherapy services, as well as peer specialist services.
Approximately 90,000 postpartum women enrolled in Healthy Texas Women on average each month will be covered by HTW Plus and have access to expanded postpartum care services for up to 12 months after the date of enrollment in the Healthy Texas Women program.
In 2019, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 750, which directed HHSC to evaluate postpartum care services provided to women enrolled in the Healthy Texas Women program after the first 60 days of the postpartum period, and develop a postpartum care services package for women enrolled in the Healthy Texas Women program.
HHSC contracted with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and The University of Texas System Population Health to conduct an evaluation of services used by women in the Medicaid for Pregnant Women program in comparison to the Healthy Texas Women program. Additionally, findings from the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee informed the HTW Plus service package. The evaluation focused on services related to the major health conditions recognized as contributing to maternal morbidity and mortality in Texas—common cardiovascular conditions, substance use disorders, mental health conditions, and certain chronic health conditions.
HHSC will issue new HTW Plus pink cards and an updated information packet to women eligible for the new service package.
About Healthy Texas Women
The Healthy Texas Women program provides family planning services and other women’s health services that contribute to preconception care and better birth outcomes. The program provides a wide variety of women’s health and core family planning services, including contraception, cancer screenings and pregnancy testing. In Fiscal Year 2019, about 279,000 women on average each month were enrolled in the Healthy Texas Women program.