Perinatal Policy Strategies

A Unified Commitment to Action

 

LA Best Babies Network and its partners work to identify and implement policy changes that will improve the lives of pregnant women, their babies, and their communities. The Network is focused on issues of access to care, quality of care, reducing health disparities, and improving workplace policies for women.

In October of 2005, LA Best Babies Network, the Los Angeles County Maternal and Child and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Programs, and the March of Dimes hosted the first  Perinatal Summit, "Healthy Births Through Healthy Communities: Connecting Leadership to Achieve a Unified Commitment to Action." Over 170 Summit participants helped develop recommendations aimed at improving pregnancy and birth outcomes. Leadership teams developed 18-month action plans for each recommendation.

Listed below are the recommendations, followed by the policy strategies for accomplishing each recommendation:

Recommendation #1: Build upon and strengthen comprehensive perinatal services for all women.

Policy Strategies:

  • evaluate the quality of care provided through the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP).
  • align quality of care measures with CPSP reimbursement.
  • expand a quality framework for prenatal care in public and private insurance plans.
  • advocate for resources to train medical and social service providers serving at-risk populations.
  • promote best practices in early identification and treatment of perinatal depression.
  • incorporate screening of perinatal depression as standard of care in perinatal health care services.
  • incorporate breastfeeding education as a standard of in all county hospitals.

 

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Recommendation #2: Assure every eligible newborn is enrolled in Medi-Cal before leaving the hospital.

Policy Strategies:

  • advocate state implementation of electronic enrollment.
  • every newborn discharged from LA County Hospitals are enrolled in eligible insurance plan.

 

Recommendation #3: Improve access to perinatal resources (integrate perinatal resources into the 2-1-1 system).

Policy Strategies:

  • support a dedicated “Mommy line” within the 2-1-1 system to provide perinatal resource information.
  • train 2-1-1 staff to direct calls to appropriate perinatal caregivers.

 

Recommendation #4: Promote risk appropriate perinatal care.

Policy Strategies:

  • Support efforts to implement a system of risk appropriate maternal care in Los Angeles County.

 

Recommendation #5: Support every woman to have a reproductive life plan.

Policy Strategies:

  • expand Medi-Cal coverage to provide access to health care for two years post partum for women at high risk to reduce risk in the next pregnancy.
  • advocate for a county DHS/DPH or Board of Supervisors office messaging campaign on preconception/interconception care.
  • advocate for funding for perinatal home visiting for every newborn.
  • encourage inclusion of depression screening at newborn home visits.
  • provide messaging campaign within the county clinics and hospitals raising awareness of existing case management/home visiting programs.
  • promote County offices to adopt Pregnancy and Family Friendly Workplace Policies.
  • implement Lactation Support in county worksites and facilities.

 

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