Responding to high maternal mortality rates, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) advocated for a change in federal law allowing state Medicaid programs to extend pregnancy related coverage for a full year after women give birth. We also worked with community organizations to reduce health disparities experienced by women of color.
In Illinois, six community-based organizations working to improve maternal health outcomes on Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods received grants totaling more than $350,000. Their programs include a home-visiting program for young mothers, doula services and training and mentorship for women of color specializing in maternal health.
“You have to look at what’s going on and find out why we are failing Black women,” says Cynthia Jacinthe, owner and founder of Dr. Jacynia Women's Care Consulting, and one of Chicago’s Black certified midwives. “We have to change things around.”
In Texas, we supported the March of Dimes’ efforts to end cycles of discrimination experienced by women of color in maternal and infant health care settings. The organization’s implicit bias training is helping providers confront institutionalized racism in the health care system.
To improve vaccination rates, we worked with state health officials in New Mexico and Texas to more accurately determine which members are behind on immunizations for vaccine-preventable diseases, including COVID-19. The data-sharing effort allowed our teams to reach out to members with immunization gaps to provide vaccine education and help them find providers to get caught up.
In Oklahoma, our support helped the Muscogee Nation treat native and non-native Oklahomans with monoclonal antibodies against COVID-19 at the tribe’s Council Oak Comprehensive Healthcare in Tulsa.
“This generous grant will help further the Muscogee Nation’s vision of providing effective treatment to all Oklahomans, regardless if they have health insurance or not,” says Shawn Terry, Secretary of Health for the Muscogee Nation.
Recognizing the importance of supporting kids’ mental health now more than ever, we teamed up with education technology company EVERFI to launch a statewide mental health education program targeting middle and high school students in New Mexico and Montana. The course gives educators proven, effective learning tools to engage their students and have meaningful conversations that can lead to lifelong health improvement.
Our mobile health programs in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas collaborate with community partners to deliver immunizations other important health services and information where people live, work, shop and go to school.
The 28 vans — including three added in 2021 — served more than 58,000 clients and provided more than 54,000 immunizations and nearly 41,000 other health services.
In Oklahoma, the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board (SPTHB) used one of the vans as a dedicated mobile clinic to bring preventive health services to tribal citizens.
The programs in Oklahoma and Texas collaborated with community health clinics and school districts to help protect high-risk residents against COVID-19 when the vaccines became available. In New Mexico, the vans helped independent health care providers and community organizations to hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics at two McDonald’s locations.
As public health guidance evolved during the pandemic, we reopened our neighborhood centers in Chicago’s Pullman, Morgan Park and South Lawndale neighborhoods for in-person wellness classes and services after providing virtual-only sessions during the height of the pandemic. More than 8,300 people took advantage of resources offered through the centers, which work to address social determinants of health such as access to quality health care, transportation, stable housing, food security, safe environments and employment.
Community outreach specialists helped expand access to health care coverage during a special enrollment period triggered by the pandemic and during the annual open enrollment period. Team members helped consumers in our states navigate their options by phone, virtually and at in-person events.
We continued to offer marketplace plan options in every county where we operate and also expanded Medicare Advantage offerings to more than 90 new counties. This expansion provided new coverage options to 1.2 million additional Medicare-eligible individuals, particularly in rural and underserved areas.