maternal care, virtual care, care management

Payer Fuses Family, Maternal Care Through Virtual Care, Care Management

By Kelsey Waddill

– Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have partnered with Maven Clinic to combine family-building and maternal care support through virtual care and care management solutions.

The solution is intended to address gaps in care for maternal and family care, bringing together fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatric care.

“Supporting new parents is more important than ever when it comes to not only maintaining healthy families, but ensuring a strong and diverse workforce for employers,” said Aji Abraham, senior vice president of Health Plan Business Innovation and Market Solutions at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. 

“We know there’s an urgent need for easier access to support services and health care providers to improve maternal and infant outcomes, while also helping parents return to the workforce postpartum. We’re confident this partnership will help us address these challenges while supporting Michigan families and those of our customers across the country through every step of this exciting stage of their lives.”

The platform includes three programs that span the spectrum of parenting and pediatric care. The family building program addresses fertility, adoption, surrogacy, and more. The maternity program covers pregnancy needs, including prenatal and postpartum care as well as partner or spousal support. And the parenting and pediatrics program covers healthcare for children one to ten years of age and offers parent coaching.

The solution takes a care management approach to maternal and family care. Members have access to a care manager at any time of the day or night.

Through the digital family health platform, members can access prenatal and postpartum care educational opportunities. Additionally, the family and maternal benefits connect members with more than 30 specialty providers whose specialties include obstetrics, lactation consultancy, and psychologists. All specialists are available within 30 minutes, the press release stated.

To help alleviate the financial pressures of parenting and pregnancy, the partners are also offering Maven Wallet. With this tool, self-funded employers can reimburse as much as they deem necessary for the costs of adoption and surrogacy.

The maternity program will be available to fully-insured employers, and the entire suite of programs will be available to self-funded employers for the 2023 open enrollment period.

The program has reduced c-sections by 20 percent, NICU admissions and user anxiety or depression by 28 percent each, and it has boosted the return-to-work rate up to 90 percent for some employers, according to the press release.

Payers have taken various steps to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes in maternal care. Maternal care is an area of healthcare that experiences a high rate of care disparities.

For example, UnitedHealthcare expanded its maternal health equity program in North Carolina to make doulas more accessible to low-income and Black mothers. Access to maternal and pregnancy support is critical before, during, and after childbirth. Doulas can give personalized, informed support to pregnant individuals during these crucial times.

In addition to programs that offer personal support, payers have been exploring ways to reduce costs upfront through value-based care. Experts have suggested five ways value-based care arrangements could lower maternal healthcare costs, including pay-for-performance, bundled payment, population-based payment, or global budget payment models.

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