Sec. 34.020: Program to Deliver Prenatal and Postpartum Care Through Telehealth Or Telemedicine Medical Services in Certain Counties

(a) In this section:

(1) "Postpartum care" and "prenatal care" have the meanings assigned by Section 32.002.

(2) "Telehealth service" and "telemedicine medical service" have the meanings assigned by Section 111.001, Occupations Code.

(b) The commission, in consultation with the task force, shall develop a program to deliver prenatal and postpartum care through telehealth services or telemedicine medical services to pregnant women with a low risk of experiencing pregnancy-related complications, as determined by a physician. The commission shall implement the program in:

(1) at least two counties with populations of more than two million;

(2) at least one county with a population of more than 100,000 and less than 500,000; and

(3) at least one rural county with high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity as determined by the commission in consultation with the task force.

(c) The commission shall develop criteria for selecting participants for the program by analyzing information in the reports prepared by the task force under this chapter and the outcomes of the study conducted under Section 531.02163, Government Code.

(d) In developing and administering the program, the commission shall endeavor to use innovative, durable medical equipment to monitor fetal and maternal health.

(e) Notwithstanding Section 531.02176, Government Code, and if the commission determines it is feasible and cost-effective, the commission may:

(1) provide home telemonitoring services and necessary durable medical equipment to women participating in the program to the extent the commission anticipates the services and equipment will reduce unnecessary emergency room visits or hospitalizations; and

(2) reimburse providers under Medicaid for the provision of home telemonitoring services and durable medical equipment under the program.

(f) Not later than January 1, 2021, the commission shall submit to the legislature a report on the program that evaluates the program's success in delivering prenatal and postpartum care through telehealth services or telemedicine medical services under Subsection (b).


Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 973 (S.B. 748), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2019.