Governor Hutchinson discusses plans to improve children’s lives, maternal health care
small rock – Governor Asa Hutchinson, attended by supportive members of the General Assembly, Department of Human Services and Department of Health, held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss plans to improve the lives of children and maternal health care.
The state has made progress in child health and welfare over the past decade. The governor said the health and social services departments still have a lot of work to do and need to address challenges in these areas.
The governor said he has asked both departments to make recommendations on how and what the state can do to improve maternal health care and the safety and welfare of children in Arkansas.
Department of Human Services and Arkansas Department of Health Proposal:
The governor said DHS is awaiting CMS approval for the Maternal Life360Home program. This will make approximately 5,000 women enrolled in ARHOME eligible for home visits and intensive care coordination services for high-risk pregnant and postnatal children. DHS will also seek federal approval to expand Matanal Life 360 home visit services to all at-risk pregnant women on Medicaid.
Gov. Hutchinson said the home visitation program can improve the health of mothers and the health of children born to these mothers. will start in May.
A second initiative is aimed at addressing the traditional Medicaid population. The proposal would expand Medicaid coverage for pregnant women to 212% of her federal poverty level. Coverage is currently limited to cover only child or pregnancy related conditions.
“It’s important for mothers to have more complete health insurance after giving birth,” Hutchinson said.
These expanded services include behavioral health services and non-pregnancy medical conditions. DHS expects this expanded coverage to start in her January, which will make more than 2,000 pregnant women eligible for these expanded services each year.
A third initiative will address foster care issues in Arkansas. Many foster parents now receive an average of $455 a month in board payments to cover food and housing for children in foster care. Many children who enter foster care are placed in temporary housing. However, provisional placements are not subject to board payments under Arkansas law.
With legislative support, the governor announced that he would authorize the use of $1.7 million to support this effort to provide assistance to foster parents with temporary adoptions.
The governor also said that in the future, the state should increase traditional foster parents’ monthly board payments. , increase the amount of the board payment.
The governor said the goal of the Department of Health’s proposal is to enable more women to take advantage of existing home visitation programs and partners. They also want to increase training for home visitors. This allows participating families to get more support.
ADH will also implement a resource call line to help Arkansas people find helpful information about local pregnancy and parenting resources. These services include those provided by ADH, DHS, other state agencies, and charities focused on pregnancy resources.
Its phone number is 1-855-ARK-MOMS (275-6667).
Read the full briefing here.
A slide presentation from today’s briefing can be found here.
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