Neonatal System Development

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The purpose of the Neonatal Levels of Care Designation is to comply with House Bill 15, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013, which added Health and Safety Code, Subchapter H, Hospital Level of Care Designations for Neonatal and Maternal Care, Sections 241.181 - 241.187. House Bill 3433, 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015 amended Health and Safety Code, Chapter 241 and requires the development of initial rules to create the neonatal/maternal level of care designation by March 1, 2018. The neonatal levels of care designation rule became effective on June 9, 2016 and the designation for neonatal level of care is an eligibility requirement for Medicaid reimbursement beginning September 1, 2018. The Perinatal Advisory Council (PAC) is developing recommendations for the maternal rules.


Frequently Asked Questions from Neonatal (NICU) Designated Facilities


Neonatal Facility Designation


The neonatal designation rule, effective June 9, 2016 is found at the Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Chapter 133, Subchapter J

Related Programs

Survey Organizations 

American Academy of Pediatrics NICU Verification Program

Texas Perinatal Services

Advisory Council and Subcommittee

Perinatal Advisory Council

The Perinatal Advisory Council, created by House Bill 15 of the 83rd Texas Legislature (Regular Session), develops and recommends criteria for designating levels of neonatal and maternal care, including specifying the minimum requirements to qualify for each level designation and a process for the assignment of levels of care to a hospital, makes recommendations for dividing the state into neonatal and maternal care regions, examines utilization trends in neonatal and maternal care, and recommends ways to improve neonatal and maternal outcomes.

The Centers of Excellence for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy

The Centers of Excellence for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy subcommittee advises the PAC and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in the development of rules to establish the criteria a health care entity or program in the state of Texas will have to meet to receive designation as a Center of Excellence for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy

Neonatal Facility Designation



Resource Documents

Provider training webinars: Introduction and review of the new requirements. Recordings of the training are listed below. Each link will take you to a page where you must enter your name and email address to access the video.  Webinar recordings:
Level I Designation – June 13, 2016
Level II Designation – June 14, 2016
Level III and IV Designation – June 16, 2016
Level III and IV Designation – June 20, 2016
Level I Designation – June 21, 2016
Level II Designation – June 24, 2016

Neonatal Application Packet Submission and Completion of the Self Audit Tool- September 14, 2016
View System Requirements

PowerPoint presentations from webinars:
Level I PowerPoint presentation
Level II PowerPoint presentation 
Level III and IV PowerPoint presentation

Contact Us


Staff Contacts

For technical assistance, call or email the Designation Program Specialist:

Shyriece Norris- (512) 231-5748

For process or rule clarification, please contact the following: 
Perinatal Designation Coordinators

Debbie Lightfoot, RN – (512) 231-5614

Alisha Wilkin, RN – (512) 834-6743

Danielle Vargas, R.N. – (737) 218-7069

Vicki Gloria, R.N. – (737) 218-7079

Designation Program Manager

Elizabeth Stevenson, RN – (512) 834-6794

By mail

Send mail correspondence to:

Person's name  
Texas Department of State Health Services  
Office of EMS/Trauma Systems Coordination 
Attn: Neonatal Designation Program  
PO Box 149347 MC 1876 
Austin, Texas 78714-9347

Last updated February 1, 2019