About CPSP

Lauren Grant, RN
Perinatal Services Coordinator
(805) 681-5368

The Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) was implemented in 1987, by the California Department of Health Services (DHS) to provide free and enhanced prenatal and postpartum care to Medi-Cal (Medicaid funded) eligible low-income women. (The DHS is now known as the California Department of Public Health or CDPH).

CPSP coordinates nutritional, health education and psychosocial (support services) assessments, interventions, education and classes with clinical obstetrical care. The local CPSP Coordinator, specifically titled Perinatal Services Coordinator (PSC), provides guidance to assist providers with the required formal application process to become CPSP certified by CDPH and with ongoing technical assistance.

What are the Goals of CPSP?

  • To decrease the incidence of low birthweight in infants
  • To improve the outcome of every pregnancy
  • To give every baby a healthy start in life
  • To lower health care costs by preventing catastrophic and chronicillness in infants and children

What is CPSP?

CPSP is a comprehensive program which provides a wide range of culturally appropriate services to pregnant women from conception through 60 days postpartum. The program was developed from the OB Access Project, a successful perinatal demonstration project for 7,000 low-income women that operated from 1979 to 1982 in 13 California counties. Comprehensive services were shown to reduce the low birthweight rate by one-third and to save approximately $2 in short-term Neonatal Intensive Care Unit costs for every $1 spent. Because of these positive results, CPSP was legislated in 1984 and included as part of the Medi-Cal program in 1987.

What are CPSP Services?

CPSP Services include:

  • Client orientation to comprehensive perinatal services
  • Initial assessment, trimester reassessments, postpartum assessment, interventions, and follow-up in:
    • Obstetrics
    • Nutrition
    • Health Education
    • Psychosocial Services
  • Individual Case Coordination
  • Prenatal Vitamin/Mineral Supplements
  • Linkages with Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC), genetic screening, dental care, family planning and pediatric care

Who Can Become a CPSP Provider?

Any of the following can be a CPSP provider, as long as he/she has an active NPI number and is in good standing with his/her licensure board:

  • Physician (obstetrician/gynecologist, family practitioner, general practitioner, or pediatrician)
  • Medical Group (any of whose members is one of the above physicians)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner (family or pediatric)
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  • Clinic (hospital, community, county)
  • Alternative Birth Center

Who Can Deliver CPSP Services?

The CPSP provider may employ or contract with any of the following practitioners to deliver services appropriate to their skill level:

  • Physicians
  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Physician Assistants
  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage, Family and Child Counselors
  • Registered Dietitians
  • Health Educators
  • Certified Childbirth Educators (ASPO/Lamaze, Bradley, ICEA)
  • Comprehensive Perinatal Health Workers (CPHW)
    • At least 18 years old
    • High School Diploma or GED equivelent
    • Minimum one year paid perinatal experience

Models of CPSP Service Delivery

Approved CPSP providers can be found in solo practice, group practice, health departments, hospitals, community clinics, managed care plans and residency programs. In most cases, the entire CPSP program is offered within a single location. In others, obstetrical services are provided in the provider's office with other services provided elsewhere, under subcontract or by a second CPSP provider. Flexibility of program design and implementation allows for the use of a wide range of professional and paraprofessional personnel.