Boston, MA — The nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), is teaming up with Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI), a non-profit focusing on delivering better health outcomes and improving the care experience for patients and their doctors. Through a $1.5 million grant over three years, HCSC is supporting the transformation of care and expanding access to CHI’s CenteringPregnancy, a group prenatal care model that provides invaluable education and care for expectant mothers and babies to 30 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and Indian Health Service facilities (IHS). The program will be rolled out in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
CenteringPregnancy is a nationally recognized model of group prenatal care promoting education and social support by bringing together women in the same stage of pregnancy. Group sessions include individual health assessments with a clinician followed by facilitated discussion of topics tailored to the group, as well as special interest topics designed to provide education and promote a community of social support amongst the mothers through pre and post-partum stages.
“We have a longstanding commitment to expanding access to care to ensure people have opportunities to improve their health outcomes from quality, affordable health care services,” said Monica Berner, M.D., HCSC clinical officer. “By taking a holistic approach to prenatal care that considers the social and economic factors impacting the health of mothers and newborns, we can create an environment that fosters affordable, equitable care delivery and betters the wellbeing of even the most vulnerable patient.”
With more than 100 published studies and peer-reviewed articles, evidence shows that CenteringPregnancy reduces costs, improves health outcomes for mothers and their babies and reduces racial health disparities. This includes lowering the risk of preterm births by 33-47 percent, reducing low birth weights, increasing rates of breastfeeding, increase postpartum depression screening and healthier pregnancy spacing.
“CHI is thrilled to partner with payer organizations like HCSC that recognize the value in investing in innovative care models that embrace the lived-experience of patients, strengthen patient-provider relationships and build healthier communities,” said Angie Truesdale, CEO of Centering Healthcare Institute. “As the shift toward value-based care grows, payer investments in transforming prenatal care will become critical to improving birth outcomes, reducing health inequities and realizing savings for the health care system.”
The grant will fund the implementation of the CenteringPregnancy model at qualified centers looking to adopt the model for prenatal care. The funding will be utilized to offer in-kind services to new Centering sites, including customized implementation plans, facilitation training for staff, curriculum materials and continuing quality assurance from CHI, leading up to Centering accreditation for a site.
The goal is to announce up to 15 new CenteringPregnancy site locations within the first year of the program.