Ensure More Texas Mothers and Babies are Healthy: Remove Obstacles Preventing Transportation to Prenatal & Postpartum Care

Testimony to the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services in Support of House Bill 25


House Bill 25 by Representative Mary Gonzalez would create a pilot program to remove obstacles in the existing non-emergency medical transportation program and ensure more Texas mothers can attend prenatal care and postpartum care appointments. Prenatal and postpartum care are vital to the health of mothers and babies. For example, prenatal care reduces the risk that a baby is born premature, with low birth weight, or with other challenges that can lead to a lifetime of health problems or disabilities, such as hearing loss, asthma, or cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, transportation is a barrier for many mothers to get this critical care.

Texas has a program offering non-emergency medical transportation to Medicaid clients who are trying to get to health appointments but do not otherwise have transportation to get there. The program is very helpful for many Texans, but it does not account for the fact that many pregnant women and new mothers are taking care of young children when they have doctor’s appointments. HB 25 would fix a glitch in the current system and create a pilot program through existing Medical Transportation Organizations to ensure mothers and their children can travel together and mothers can request rides more quickly and efficiently.