We fund the RMOMS program to increase access to maternal and obstetrics care in rural communities. This improves health outcomes for mothers and infants.
Why did we create the RMOMS program?
Rural mothers have more trouble getting care:
- More than half of all rural U.S. counties lack hospital obstetric services.1
- Closures are more common in small hospitals and communities with a limited obstetric workforce.2
- Maternal mortality and morbidity are rising.3, 4
- Large racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality continue. African American and American Indian/Alaskan Native patients have a higher risk than white patients.5
These challenges highlight the need for innovative, flexible models of care.
RMOMS also aligns with important government-wide initiatives, including the White House Blueprint for Addressing Maternal Health Crisis (PDF - 912 KB).
What does the RMOMS program do?
As of September 2022, 10 RMOMS awardees in nine states have been funded to test programs that address unmet needs for their target populations. These populations may have suffered from poorer health outcomes, health disparities, and other inequities.
RMOMS improves maternal care in rural communities by:
- Collecting data on rural hospital obstetric services;
- Building networks to coordinate continuum of care;
- Leveraging telehealth and specialty care; and
- Improving financial sustainability.
If the programs are successful, they can serve as a model for other rural networks.
How long does the RMOMS program last?
RMOMS is a four-year program. The first year is dedicated to planning followed by three years of putting it into action. We evaluate our program, and the results tell us what helps maternal care and what does not.
What awardees and networks are in the RMOMS program?
FY 19 Cohort Award Recipients and Networks (September 2019 – August 2023) are jointly funded by HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
- Missouri - Bootheel Perinatal Network (BPN)
- New Mexico - Rural Ob Access & Maternal Services Network (ROAMS)
- Texas - TX-RMOMS Comprehensive Maternal Care Network
- Minnesota - Families First: Rural Maternity Health Collaborative
- Missouri - RMOM-Southeast Missouri Partnership (RMOM-SMP)
- West Virginia - The West Virginia Rural Maternity and Obstetric Management Strategies Collaborative (WV RMOMS)
- South Dakota - RMOMS SD
- Utah - Healthy Southwest Montana - RMOMS
- Maine - Maine RMOMS
- Arkansas - AR MOMS
- Mississippi - Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health
- New Hampshire - Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital
What have we learned so far?
Between September 2019 and August 2021, the FY2019 Cohort awardees have:
- Served geographically large, rural counties in need with over one third in poverty and inadequate prenatal care rates higher than the national average
- In total, signed agreements with over 40 hospitals, clinicians, support services, and other community resources to create unique partner networks
- Implemented telehealth, patient navigation, and direct service expansion initiatives (among others) to improve access to maternity care and support services
- Had early successes connecting high risk pregnant women to Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists, hiring new providers and care coordinators, and creating partnerships between competitors
- In total, served over 3,100 individuals in the first implementation year (September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021)
Learn more about RMOMS
Program Summary for the FY 2019 Cohort (October 2021) (PDF - 486 KB)
RMOMS Awardee Directory - FY 2021 Cohort (PDF - 1 MB)
Program Summary for the FY 2021 Cohort (September 2022) (PDF - 466 KB)
RMOMS Awardee Directory - FY 2022 Cohort (PDF - 1 MB)
Learn more about maternal health
1 Hung, et. al. Access To Obstetric Services In Rural Counties Still Declining, With 9 Percent Losing Services, 2004–14, Health Affairs, September 2017.
2 Hung, et. al. Why Are Obstetric Units in Rural Hospitals Closing Their Doors?, Health Services Research, 25 January 2016.
3 Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 February 2020.
4 Severe Maternal Morbidity in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 January 2020.
5 MMWR - Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Pregnancy-Related Deaths — United States, 2007–2016 (cdc.gov) (PDF - 93 KB) US Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 6 September 2019.