Testimony to the House Committee on Human Services in Support of House Bill 25
House Bill 25 by Representative Mary Gonzalez would create a pilot program to streamline non-emergency medical transportation 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. Prenatal care, for example, 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, like 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 doesn’t 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 by creating a pilot program that allows Medicaid health plans to take on responsibilities of medical transportation for pregnant women and new mothers. Health plans would leverage existing partnerships with ridesharing services to arrange transportation that is quicker, more efficient, and works better for mothers traveling with kids.