March 2011 
Preconception Health and Health Care Update

This is a monthly communication for individuals interested in improving the health of women and infants through preconception health and health care. We welcome your readership and contributions.

This e-newsletter is archived.  Find back issues of this e-enewsletter and more information about improving preconception health and health care at
REGISTER NOW  for the 3rd National Summit on Preconception Health and Health Care: Improving Preconception Health in an Era of Health Care.  Join hundreds of other leaders focused on improving the health of women, infants, and families in Tampa, Florida, June 12-14, 2011.
Click hereto download an overview of the agenda.
Visit to download a detailed copy of the preliminary agenda, including session topics and speaker names.


The objectives of the summit are to:

  1. Advance opportunities to improve preconception health that are supported by provisions of the Affordable Care Act. 
  2. Promote use of evidence-based preconception care.
  3. Showcase the ideas, innovation, and expertise that have emerged from the field over the past five years.

This Summit is being planned and hosted by the Florida Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative Steering Committee, which includes representatives from the CDC, HRSA, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, CityMatCH, March of Dimes, and National Healthy Start Association.


Currently, millions of women do not receive evidence-based care due to lack of coverage and/or quality primary care. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), gaps in coverage will be addressed but there is more to be done. A high-quality health care system must assure access to the right care, in the right setting, at the right time. The 3rd National Summit on Preconception Health and Health Care will provide an opportunity to share and generate ideas about implementation of new programs and policies.

CMS Approves Waivers for Interconception Care Demonstration Projects in Two States 


Building on the success of the Grady Interpregnancy Care Project, Georgia became the first state to receive approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for an interpregnancy-interconception care demonstration project. The Planning for Healthy Babies (P4HB) project aims to increase access to primary care and family planning, increase the number of intended and appropriately timed births, and facilitate access to prenatal providers for any future pregnancies.  The new Interpregnancy Care waiver will add intensive case management for women whose infants were born at very low birthweight.  Access to limited dental services, substance abuse treatment, select pharmacy benefits, and non-emergency transportation will also be available.

Louisiana also has received CMS approval for a similar project.  In Louisiana, the demonstration project will focus on four parishes near New Orleans that lost primary care capacity when Hurricane Katrina hit.  Women in selected areas with income up to 200% of poverty who experienced a prior adverse pregnancy outcome (e.g., low birthweight or very low birthweight birth) will have continued Medicaid coverage, receive primary care services through a network of community health clinics, be eligible for family planning coverage, and benefit from intensive case management.

While some of the early waivers now known as family planning waivers were designed to provide interconception care, the approach shifted to cover family planning and related services.  The success of projects in communities such as Atlanta and Chicago paved the way for a new generation of Medicaid demonstration projects focused on improving birth outcomes through interconception care.  The design of the Georgia and Louisiana Medicaid approaches are guided incorporate elements of earlier success, including intensive care coordination, screening for risks related to adverse pregnancy outcomes, and access to primary and specialty care services to reduce those risks. 

Both the Georgia and Louisiana demonstration projects will be rigorously evaluated.  The states hope to achieve improvements in pregnancy outcomes and reductions in Medicaid costs through improved access to care and better management of women's reproductive health risks and chronic health conditions.

Issue: 21

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In This Issue
CMS Approves Interconception Care Waivers
Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative