JEFFERSON CITY, MO –MO HealthNet, a division of the Missouri Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Mental Health, and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is excited to launch the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies initiative. The mission of Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies is to achieve better health outcomes by connecting women to quality healthcare and supportive resources that will provide healthy, successful pregnancy and post-partum experiences for both mom and baby. According to the Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review, every year an average of 70 women die while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy in Missouri. Eighty-four percent of these pregnancy-related deaths were determined to be preventable. The Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies efforts are designed to address not only maternal health concerns, but also pre-term pregnancies, and low birth weight and very low birth weight babies.
“Pregnancy and early motherhood is a very vulnerable time for women,” said Todd Richardson, Director, MO HealthNet. “I want to thank all the state agencies, community partners, and healthcare providers that continue to contribute to this initiative. As a group representing many facets of healthcare and early childhood in the state we are striving to think innovatively and comprehensively about how we can support women and families during this critical phase. We will continue to push, but I am proud to launch the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies initiative as well as the numerous policy changes we have made so far.
The Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies website offers a hub of information for women, to support them and their children through their journeys to motherhood, from conception through post-partum. Women can use the website to educate themselves, learn about obtaining healthcare coverage, and find resources to provide a safe and healthy environment for their babies. Individuals interested in receiving additional communication from MO HealthNet can subscribe for updates on the website.
The Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies initiative supports a number of policy changes that have been implemented by MO HealthNet to improve maternal and infant health outcomes. The federal government recently approved Missouri’s implementation of extended post-partum coverage for women enrolled in MO HealthNet. This new policy will provide 12 months of coverage to moms after the end of their pregnancy. Providers and community partners can find additional information including a toolkit of promotional materials regarding MO HealthNet pregnancy coverage on the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies website.
MO HealthNet has also identified opportunities to cover additional services and benefits that support women through their pregnancy. MO HealthNet is partnering with St. Louis Integrated Health Network to launch group prenatal care across Missouri. Group prenatal care models are designed to improve patient education and include opportunities for social support while maintaining the risk screening and physical assessment of individual prenatal care. MO HealthNet has also approved the Missouri’s managed care providers to cover doula services where available.
MO HealthNet wants to hear from moms about their healthcare experiences. Moms interested in a safe place to share feedback can compete an online survey at mydss.mo.gov/mo-mom-chat.
Over 40% of births in the state of Missouri are covered by MO HealthNet. To learn more about MO HealthNet eligibility and apply for coverage visit mydss.mo.gov/healthcare/apply.