In 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) designated University Hospital as San Antonio’s first Level IV maternal center. Level IV is the highest designation, reserved only for centers that provide comprehensive care to the highest-risk obstetric patients. University Health continues to be the only program in South Texas designated at this highest level.
“Level IV centers are the pinnacle of those maternal centers where they can take care of nearly every obstetric complication or sick mom, any medical or surgical need,” said Dr. Patrick Ramsey, medical director for maternal transport and outreach, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Health San Antonio and a member of the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force.
Though University Hospital has offered this high level of care for some time, 2019 was the first year that Texas law required hospitals to earn designation through a rigorous third-party review. This designation complements the hospital’s Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) designation, which was awarded in 2017. Together, they certify the highest level of continuous care available for pregnant women, mothers and their newborn babies.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) conducted the review at University Hospital and praised the program’s clinical collaborations and comprehensive maternal transport and regional outreach. The reviewers noted its “ability to provide comprehensive, complex patient care to this high-risk patient population exemplifies the intent of Level IV facilities across the state of Texas.”