Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lane County Taking Over PeaceHealth Prenatal Clinic

As of Feb 1, services currently offered at the PeaceHealth Prenatal Clinic will be transferred to the Lane County Charnelton Community Clinic at 151 W. 7th Avenue.

Lane County is joining six other counties to provide prenatal care for women who would be OHP-eligible except for immigration status. This new coverage expands the “Citizen / Alien Waived Emergency Medical” (CAWEM) and is made possible through the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP allows states to serve the unborn children of women who would be Medicaid(OHP)-eligible except for immigration status. Learn more at MotherBaby Network

Long before CAWEM Plus, PeaceHealth undertook and underwrote maternity services through its Prenatal Clinic. The same Certified Nurse-Midwives who staff the Nurse Midwifery Birth Center staffed the Prenatal Clinic. The Prenatal Clinic ensured pregnant women, regardless of immigration status and/or ability to pay, received the excellent, continuous midwifery care associated with positive birth outcomes. Services included prenatal care, birth attendance, lactation support, postpartum care, well-woman visits and birth control.

CAWEM Plus expansion into Lane County prompted Public Health and PeaceHealth to negotiate the transfer of the Prental Clinic services to the Charnelton Community  Clinic. Lane County will contract with PeaceHealth to have Prenatal Clinic midwives and staff continue providing maternity services at the community clinic.

Births will continue to occur at RiverBend. PeaceHealth obstetricians will continue to collaborate with the midwives. While the six-week post-partum appointment will still be available, coverage for the mother ends with the conclusion of her pregnancy. Newborns will be enrolled in OHP Plus for one year of automatic eligibility.

As we understand it, CAWEM Plus does not cover birth control but there are other accessible programs available to women who desire it. We do not know the degree to which lactation support will be available.  

Friends of the Birth Center has followed the status of the Prenatal Clinic with great concern. We are pleased that the Prenatal Clinic midwives and staff will continue providing quality, continuous midwifery care that many of the most vulnerable women and babies in our community have come to trust and rely on. We hope this care will continue to include lactation support.

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