How 5 payers are addressing maternal health

A group of 27 payers said they will update provider directories to include CMS' birthing friendly hospital designations, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said it will add health equity criteria to its maternal care ratings. 

These are five other recent payer actions to improve maternal health outcomes:

  1. Western Sky Community Care, a Centene subsidiary, launched a virtual doula network for Medicaid members in New Mexico. Through a partnership with virtual maternal healthcare provider Pacify, Western Sky will launch a 24/7 service to connect members with doulas who can help develop a birth plan, prepare birth partners and provide other nonmedical care.

  2. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association issued a report detailing 10 steps the association of insurers can take to reduce the rates of maternal morbidity. These include crafting a holistic maternal health network, adding more nurse midwives and birthing centers to provider networks, and implementing value-based maternal health contracts.

  3. Independence Blue CrossIndependence Blue Cross partnered with Philadelphia-based and Cayaba Care to address racial disparities in maternal health. is a community resource available to anyone and is designed to support mothers of color during pregnancy, postpartum and loss. The company provides access to education and community resources such as free diapers, formula and child care services. Cayaba Care provides maternity navigators to connect pregnant and postpartum individuals with in-person and virtual resources. 

  4. Elevance Health, then known as Anthem, launched a new telehealth platform in March to offer digital care to women for pregnancy, menopause and other women's health issues through a partnership with New York City-based Happify Health. 

  5. Blue Shield of California launched a new health equity initiative targeting mothers, the Maternal Child Health Equity initiative. The payer is collaborating with community-based organizations to train doulas and connect mothers in need to family services and maternal supplies. It is also working with maternal medical record platform Mahmee to provide mothers with record tracking and educational resources.

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