Amerigroup Georgia is partnering with Mom's Meals on the program, which addresses social determinants of health and aims to help reduce pregnancy and delivery complications in a medically complex and underserved population.
A Georgia-based health plan is sending two nutritionally customized meals a day to pregnant members living with diabetes in an effort to reduce delivery risks and boost clinical outcomes.
Amerigroup Georgia is partnering with Mom’s Meals on the pilot program, which gives moms-to-be an important source of nutrition for 10 straight days in a bid to reduce chances of preterm delivery and caesarean sections.
“One of the major issues with pregnant members with diabetes is managing food intake,” Dr. John Lue, Amerigroup Georgia’s obstetric medical director, who initiated the study, said in a press release. “Although we already offer nutritional counseling and a blood glucose meter, patients still become hyperglycemic and often require inpatient hospitalization to stabilize blood glucose levels. Our hope is for the provision of up to 140 medically tailored meals and improved behavior management to result in better health for expectant mothers and their developing babies.”
Amerigroup Georgia launched the statewide program in September 2021 with Iowa-based Mom’s Meals, and has so far delivered more than 6,000 meals to 74 members. The program, which runs through September 2022, will now be opening up to obstetric members in the Georgia managed care program.
The program is modeled after the Simply Healthcare Plans in Florida cost-of-care initiative, which helped to reduce both maternal hospital and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions.
“We hope that this model in Georgia can eventually become a standard benefit and expand to other states, especially those with higher rates of expectant mothers with diabetes,” Tim Conroy, national vice president of government and healthcare partnerships for Mom’s Meals, said in the press release.
Officials will measure the value of the program in the number of C-sections and other delivery complications, maternal hemoglobin A1C values and random glucose screenings, birth outcomes, and the reduction in other risks associated with diabetes during pregnancy.
Roughly 1 million Georgians, or about 12.4% percent of the state’s population, are living with Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association; many others have been undiagnosed or have health factors that put them at high risk of developing the chronic disease.
Nutrition is considered one of social determinants of health, a non-clinical issue that factors, directly or indirectly, into one’s health and wellness. Many healthcare organizations, from providers to payers, are developing new programs that address those factors, the barriers they may cause to healthcare access and the effects they have on clinical outcomes.
Eric Wicklund is the Innovation and Technology Editor for HealthLeaders.