CA Legislation

Depression is a common complication of pregnancy with potentially devastating consequences if it goes unrecognized and untreated. It is estimated that 14%-23% of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy and 5%-25% experience postpartum depression. Education and increasing awareness of depression and mood disorders in pregnant and postpartum women must transcend all level of providers. Not only is it essential for ob-gyns to screen for depression and postpartum depression, but seamless transitions in screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders among health care providers are essential.”

“We must do better as a medical community to properly screen for perinatal and postpartum depression and initiate medical therapy, when indicated. Ob-gyns, nurses, pediatricians, emergency department staff and others must be equipped to refer patients to appropriate behavioral health resources. ACOG is committed to working with state leaders to expand provider knowledge and training, improve care coordination and build a robust network of community-based resources.
— Laura Sirott, MD, FACOG American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District IX, Chair

California's Comprehensive Maternal Mental Health (MMH)
Bill Package (2018)

Maternal Mental Health, Federal Funding (Cal Dept of Public Health)
AB 1893

Brian Maienchein (R), Assembly District 77
CA Public to apply for federal funding from Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act for development of MMH programs which could include a public awareness campaign.

Case Management and Ob/Gyn Screening for MMH disorders

Brian Maienchein (R), Assembly District 77
Insurers and health plans to develop case/care management programs similar to programs which insurers and plans voluntarily provide for conditions like asthma, low back pain, eating disorders, etc. or to modify an existing case management program which might include a high risk maternity program for example.  Case management includes helping patients find in-network providers and monitoring medication use if prescribed.  Case manager (usually an RN) calls patient to check in, etc.  Includes a requirement to report on quality management, into insurer/plan quality management committees, including number of women enrolled, and whether interventions are leading to improved outcomes.  After case management mandate effective date, Ob/Gyns mandated to screen for MMH disorders.

County Reporting of Early Detection and Intervention Dollars Used for MMH

Jim Frazier (D), Assembly District 11
Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) shall promulgate regulations to address County Departments of mental health reporting what, if anything, they are doing to address MMH using Prop 63 dollars (early detection and intervention funds).

SB 906, Certified Peer Specialists

Jim Beale (D), Senate District
Peer Support certification. Not unique to MMH. Would allow peers, like Moms, to become certified in the state to provide services to their peers and support with care navigation. Certification would allow for recognition of this critical type of service and allow service to be billed under MediCal.

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

Marie Waldron (R), Assembly District 75
Acknowledges the month of May 2018 as Maternal Mental Health Awareness month.


The Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance to modify annual reporting requirements for health plans and insurers to include reporting on development of a provider-to-provider and patient-to-provider telepsychiatry program and monitor appointment accessibility and network adequacy.  

Hospital Quality, Programs for Maternal Mental Health

Hospitals in the state shall develop a quality management program relative to maternal mental health disorders, like postpartum depression.
The program shall include components related to
(1) clinician training and readiness, including nursing, social work and medical doctor staff;
(2) education of women/families on the range of maternal mental health disorders and local treatment resources, if any.