Affordable Walk-in Pregnancy Testing

Encouraging all pregnant women to get prenatal care early, the JPS Health Network is offering walk-in pregnancy testing for $11 and an introduction to a new program associated with better birth outcomes.

Prenatal care at JPS begins with an introduction to a new model of healthcare delivery known as Centering Pregnancy, in practice at a growing number of clinics across the country and at the three JPS Health Centers for Women since December 2011.

A three-year study by the March of Dimes in Texas found that mothers who got prenatal care in a group prenatal model were less likely to give birth to premature babies —a longtime goal in Tarrant County, where infant mortality rates have been stubbornly high for years. Premature birth is among the leading causes of infant mortality, as is delayed prenatal care.

The rate of preterm birth among mothers in Centering Pregnancy programs was 6.5 percent, compared with the Texas average of 13.7 percent, according to the study, which estimated the associated savings in medical costs at $1.2 million.

Centering Pregnancy remodels the office visit.

At a traditional prenatal appointment, women often spend much of their time waiting for what is a brief encounter with a doctor or nurse.  “There’s a lot of wasted time in the traditional setting,” said Lindsay Griffith, a certified nurse midwife at JPS.

Centering Pregnancy participants are assigned to a group of eight to 10 expectant mothers all due to give birth the same month. After arriving at the clinic, they take their own blood pressure and record their weight and girth. After a brief one-on-one with a practitioner, they spend the next hour together with a nurse practitioner or midwife, learning how to take care of themselves, recognize potential complications and prepare for motherhood. In addition to the extended medical attention, the group support is valuable, Griffith said. Participants sometimes become close friends. There are small incentives, as well —baby clothes, blankets, diapers and toiletries.

JPS Health Network, which delivered 5,429 babies in 2012, has set a goal of having every pregnant patient begin receiving prenatal care by the 13th week of pregnancy.

JPS operates three Health Centers for Women, on the Main Campus south of downtown, in Northwest Fort Worth and in Arlington.