Building on its strong investments in community-focused maternal care, THOT-member Parkland Health has expanded the geographic footprint of its “extending Maternal Care After Pregnancy” (eMCAP) program, which provides postpartum follow-up care for 12 months for women in underserved areas of Dallas County.

The program’s service area now includes 19 ZIP codes within Dallas County, fueled in part by an expanded use of telehealth visits for patients. Since launching in 2020, the program has enrolled more than 3,400 patients across southern Dallas County and will expand into eastern Dallas County this year.

“The eMCAP program is a superb example of the investment our teaching hospitals are making to improve care for their communities outside the walls of the hospital,” said Maureen Milligan, president and CEO, Teaching Hospitals of Texas. “Parkland’s significant commitment to this program and to leveraging technology and collaboration among care teams underscores its dedication to broadening access to care for underserved populations in its community and addressing the state’s maternal mortality crisis.”

The eMCAP program utilizes community health workers, nurse home visits, telemedicine visits, and an in-person mobile unit with medical providers, social workers, and pharmacy services deployed within the community to extend and enhance postpartum care for diabetes, hypertension, and behavioral health services. The eMCAP program also connects mothers with Dallas Healthy Start for help with transportation, food and housing assistance if needed, as well as parenting education and well-baby care resources.

“The eMCAP program has established a postpartum care model to replace the typically fragmented traditional care patients receive after birth, and the evidence generated from this effort can be readily adopted into other clinical practice settings targeting underserved patients with limited resources,” said David B. Nelson, MD, Medical Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Parkland Health.

The eMCAP program received the Department of Health and Human Services Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge Phase 1 Award and was also recognized by The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum with the 2022 John M. Eisenberg Award.

Teaching hospitals also supported successful passage last year of House Bill 12 to extend Medicaid coverage to women for 12 months post-partum. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in January approved the state plan amendment to implement the coverage expansion.