Medicaid-pregnant women have a new provider to turn to for medical care.

Appointments are being taken at Hope Clinic, which serves the uninsured, Medicaid and Medicare-eligible residents of Ellis County.

“We have an (obstetrician/gynecologist) now and we’re going to start seeing pregnant women who have Medicaid one day a week,” said Amy Hollingsworth, clinic manager. 

Dr. Michael Jones of Ennis will be at the clinic on Wednesdays to see patients, said Hollingsworth, who noted the need in the county for such a provider.

“I bet we get about 10 inquiries a week from pregnant women who have Medicaid,” she said. “They’re needing somewhere to go.”

Although several doctors in the county do take Medicaid-pregnant women, the number they can see is limited, she said, saying, “It’s not enough to cover the amount of women we have on Medicaid. The ones who don’t get in have to go into Dallas County.”

The shortage of local medical care for Medicaid-pregnant women came about in recent years after the retirements of several obstetrician/gynecologists.

“That’s when the big shortage occurred,” Hollingsworth said. “(They) used to do all of the Medicaid babies.”

The Medicaid-pregnant women program is income-based with its recipients primarily single mothers. It covers women through their pregnancy and six weeks after delivery. The infants are covered for a year after birth.

At the end of the six-week period, the moms can go into the Hope Clinic program if they have no other insurance option. At the end of the one-year period, the infants either convert to regular Medicaid or go into CHIP if there is no other insurance option. Hope Clinic is signing up to be a provider for CHIP, the state-funded children’s health insurance program, Hollingsworth said.

To help get its Medicaid-pregnant women program under way, the clinic is in need of equipment to use with the new service.

“Any donations or contributions would be deeply appreciated,” Hollingsworth said.

Adding Medicare-pregnant women to its services is part of Hope Clinic’s efforts to attain certification as a federally-qualified health center.

An application will be filed next month for “look-alike” status as an FQHC. The clinic also has a planning grant that is collecting data for an application later this year, when full certification will be sought as an FQHC.

With each level of certification achieved, Hope Clinic would be able to receive additional monies for the services it provides.

Hope Clinic is located at 411 E. Jefferson St., Waxahachie. For more information, call 972-923-2440.

E-mail JoAnn at joann@wninews.com