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The value-based maternity care model will be made available to HTC members in New Jersey
Women die in childbirth in the US at up to three times the rate of other developed countries, with black women dying at three to four times the rate of white women. At the same time. more than 2 million women of childbearing age live in maternity deserts. Not to mention, it is projected that we will see a shortage of 22,000 OB providers nationally by 2050.
"The providers who keep showing up are increasingly experiencing burnout as they are being asked to do more with less while being constrained by a legacy fee-for-service model that has proven to be unsustainable moving forward," Leah Sparks, founder and CEO of Wildflower Health, a provider of digital health and value-based maternal care, told VatorNews.
This is a particularly big problem in New Jersey, a state that ranks 47th for its maternal mortality rate, with 46.5 fatalities per 100,000 live births, and where black women are seven times more likely to die in childbirth than white women.
That's why Wildflower is launching a value-based maternity care initiative in New Jersey, through a newly announced a partnership with Healthcare Transformation Consortium (HTC), a collaborative of independent health systems in the state, made up of providers from Atlantic Health System, CentraState Healthcare System, Holy Name, Hunterdon Health, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, Valley Health System, and Virtua Health.
The new model includes a digital platform that helps help doctors, nurses and other caregivers engage, support, and remotely monitor patients between visits while expanding access to existing resources and virtual services. The platform also includes educational content and tools for patients, and data for providers that can be accessed at point of care.
Additionally, clinicians will be able to use Health Advocates and Coaches from Wildflower who will help connect patients to available resources, while also escalating care for at-risk women who need additional clinical support.
"Patient care will be more coordinated, more holistic, more personalized and more timely. In this process, we’ll be addressing both clinical as well as social needs, and doing that at the individual patient level. It’s care that will feel like an individualized, concierge experience, which at the end of the day leads to healthier outcomes for both mom and baby," Sparks explained.
To start, the program, which officially launched in January 1, will be delivered via a phased rollout to team members and dependents within HTC member health systems, though the companies are already looking to expand to include other payers and self-insured employers.
In this partnership, what Wildflower is providing is both tools and technical knowhow to facilitate and scale a value-based maternity care model, including equipping providers with the support they need to transform care delivery, as well as administering the financial and actuarial needs related to value-based models, said Sparks.
"HTC is a perfect partner for us in many ways. They are innovative and thoughtful about how they are delivering care. They understand the urgency involved in addressing maternal health outcomes and the fact that it requires collaboration across multiple stakeholders," she explained.
"Their member health systems are high quality providers who engage with a high percentage of births across the state. All of this made this partnership a high priority for Wildflower."
As part of this initiative, Wildflower and HTC will also be working with OB-GYN practices, including those affiliated with Unified Women’s Healthcare and Axia Women’s Health, two of the largest OB-GYN networks in the U.S.
Transforming the maternity space
Founded in 2012, Sparks originally founded Wildflower after experiencing her own journey as an expectant mom.
"The challenges for women have only worsened since then. Our company’s mission is to help ensure the best care is delivered to all women, every time. Every day, we are working to help solve for that," she said.
"Wildflower’s integrated platform facilitates much needed care transformation in the maternity space."
The company's solution consists of value-based bundle design and analytics, as well software, hardware, and people power, including health advocates and coaches, that are needed for providers to transform care and meet the savings targets under value-based care, while also addressing provider burnout/shortages, avoidable patient complications, and an unsustainable payment model.
Wildflower supports regional and national health plans, both commercial and Medicaid populations. It works with hospitals and health systems of all shapes and sizes and it also partners with OB-GYN practices. Employers are another stakeholder group it serves, largely through partnership with payers and providers.
"We meet clients where they are on their journey. A typical use case is that we work with a payer and provider to install an anchor value-based arrangement and wrap our services around the practices to drive success under the model, and then we grow from there to add both additional regional providers to the value model and/or additional regional payers," said Sparks.
The company currently has partnerships with health plans that cover more than 50 million lives and relationships with more than 150 hospitals and health systems. We also work directly with more than 10 percent of the nation’s OB-GYN practices.
Now that it has partnered with HTC on this new initiative, the company expects to facilitate ssafer care, fewer complications, and lower overall costs for those patients.
"Success will mean providers are not burned out and feel they have the tools and economic alignment to fully support their patients. Success will look like equitable care and access to care no matter where you live," said Sparks.
"The beauty of the value-based care model is that success is defined and aligned for all stakeholders. Everyone is rewarded when the patient wins. The most simplistic and powerful way to demonstrate success here is healthy moms and healthy babies. If we accomplish this, everything else will follow."
(Image source: wildflowerhealth.com)
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