Prenatal Plus Act

Summary: The Prenatal Plus Act identifies pregnant women who may require assistance in order to have a healthy pregnancy and provides a team of specialists to care for the mother and child.

Model from Colorado Medical Assistance Act, Article 5, Part 3, C.R.S. 25.5-5-309

Information about Colorado’s Prenatal Plus from the website of the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Explanation: Perhaps the most important thing government social services can do to break the cycle of poverty is to reduce the incidence of babies born with disabilities and disadvantages. Prenatal Plus is a successful Colorado program that assigns a team of specialists to help encourage a healthy pregnancy. The team includes a case manager, dietician and mental health provider. They ensure the mother receives regular prenatal care, connect the mother to other services like food and housing assistance, and help the mother continue her education and/or find a job.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Prenatal Plus Act.”

SECTION 2. PURPOSE

This law is enacted to protect the health of pregnant women and their children.

SECTION 3. PRENATAL PLUS

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

1. For every pregnant woman who is enrolled or eligible for services pursuant to section [appropriate citation within the Medicaid program], health care practitioners shall be encouraged to identify, as soon as possible after such woman is determined to be pregnant, whether the woman is at risk of a poor birth outcome during the prenatal period and in need of special assistance in order to reduce such risk.

2. If a health care practitioner makes such a determination regarding any pregnant woman, the health care practitioner shall refer such a woman to any entity approved and licensed by the department of [human services] for the performance of a needs assessment. Any pregnant woman who is eligible for services pursuant to [appropriate citation with the Medicaid program] may refer herself for such a needs assessment.
3. For the purposes of this section, a "needs assessment" means an assessment that is designed to make a determination of which services are needed by a pregnant woman to minimize the occurrence of a poor birth outcome .

(B) TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR HIGH-RISH PREGNANT WOMEN

1. The departments of [Human Services and Health] shall cooperate with any private entities that desire to assist such departments in the provision of services connected with the treatment program for high-risk pregnant women.

2. The services that private entities may provide under this program may include, but shall not be limited to, needs assessment services, preventive services, rehabilitative services, care coordination, nutrition assessment, psychosocial counseling, intensive health education, home visits, transportation, development of provider training, child care, and other necessary components of residential or outpatient treatment or care.

(C) DATA COLLECTION

The department [of Human Services], in cooperation with the department [Health], shall create a data-collection mechanism regarding persons receiving services pursuant to the treatment program for high-risk pregnant women that shall include the collection of such data as such departments deem appropriate.

(D) FEDERAL APPROVAL

The department [of Health] shall seek federal approval to continue providing substance abuse treatment services for twelve months following a pregnancy to women who are eligible to receive such services under the medical assistance program, who are receiving services pursuant to the treatment program for high-risk pregnant women, and who continue to participate in the treatment program. The department [of Human Services] shall implement the continued services to the extent allowed by the federal government.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Act shall take effect on July 1, 20XX.


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