Texas Passes Law to Increase Identification of Mothers Experiencing Postpartum Depression
Recently passed legislation in Texas will allow new mothers to receive a postpartum depression screenings during their babies' well-child visits.
The bill (HB 2466) requires that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) pay for the screening if the child is covered, even if the mother is not. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Texas mothers will be eligible for the benefit each year. A report published this spring by Texans Care for Children found that one in six new mothers in Texas experiences postpartum depression, but only half of them are diagnosed and receive services. This law is also a reaction to a recent increase in maternal mortality rates, which the state’s health department found is associated with maternal mental health and substance abuse. In addition, the legislature directed the state to study trends, rates, and disparities in pregnancy-related deaths and evaluate options for treating postpartum depression and reducing maternal mortality.
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