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New Jersey Health Systems Launch Digital Health Coalition to Address Maternity Care

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   February 02, 2023

The Healthcare Transformation Consortium and Wildflower Health are partnering on a value-based care program that will give health systems and OB-GYN offices access to digital health resources to improve care management for expectant and new mothers and their babies.

A consortium of New Jersey-based health systems is expanding its digital health platform to improve maternity care management and outcomes.

The Healthcare Transformation Consortium (HTC), which includes the Atlantic Health System, CentraState Healthcare System, Holy Name Medical Center, Hunterdon Healthcare, Valley Health System, Virtua, and Saint Peter's Healthcare System, is partnering with San Francisco-based digital health company Wildflower Health on the statewide program. The health systems, each of which have self-funded employee health plans, will adopt a maternity bundle developed by Wildflower Health that includes digital health tools and resources.

The partnership will also include OB-GYN practices across the state, including those affiliated with Lifeline Medical Associates and Axia Women's Health.

“This new partnership will allow the HTC to bring all stakeholders together to work for the benefit of expectant mothers, new moms and their babies,” Kevin Lenahan, Atlantic Health's executive vice president and chief business and strategy officer, said in a press release. “Additionally, our physicians, nurses and team members are the most important asset to any healthcare system. Working with Wildflower allows us the opportunity to improve both member and physician experience, while helping reduce the cost of care and improve the quality of care for our employee health plan.”

The program addresses a key pain point in American healthcare. The nation's maternal mortality rate in 2020 was 24 deaths per 100,000 live births, more than three times higher than most developed nations, and that rate was even higher for underserved populations such as women of color. New Jersey ranks 47th in the nation with 46.5 deaths per 100,000 live births, and First Lady Tammy Murphy has launched an effort, called Nurture NJ, to cut that rate in half within five years.

The HTC-Wildflower Health partnership aims to bring digital health resources to bear, addressing key social determinants of health that contribute to these deaths, and create a value-based care program that rewards providers for outcomes.

The bundle includes prenatal and postnatal services and encompasses both the mother and baby. Among the services provided are access to health associates and coaches from Wildflower Health, educational content, virtual visits and remote patient monitoring tools.

"With this bundle, providers can evaluate and design value-based models alongside payers; install both digital health and point-of-care decision support tools; adapt current workflows to value-based requirements and continuously process data, both for leveraging key clinical metrics in real-time, as well as managing financial payments, reconciliations and outcomes measurement," the two groups said in the press release.

“As the demands on OB-GYNs continue to mount, it’s critical that we work together to find innovative ways to offer more support,” Gaurov Dayal, MD, chief executive officer at Axia Women’s Health, said in the press release. “The model being introduced in New Jersey fully equips clinicians to work more efficiently while providing personalized support for every patient, even between office visits. It makes it possible for providers to do their best work and be rewarded for high-quality outcomes.”

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

The nation's maternal mortality rate is 24 deaths per 100,000 live births, among the worst for developed nations, and New Jersey's rate is almost twice that, while the rate for underserved populations is even worse.

The coalition, made up of several New Jersey health systems, and OB-GYN offices across the state will adopt Wildflower Health's value-based maternity bundle, which offers prenatal and postnatal care for both mothers and babies.

The program gives providers access to digital health resources, including education, virtual visits and remote patient monitoring tools.


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