While data shows troubling trends in maternal health for the U.S., Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are creating supportive interventions for mothers-to-be.
The most recent Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Health of America Report® on maternal health trends found that an increasing number of women are experiencing pregnancy and childbirth complications, as well as postpartum depression. These trends are made even more concerning in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of social distancing practices and restrictions, over 1 in 4 women have missed prenatal appointments, which can help prevent complications.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies are at work to reverse these adverse trends, for the health of women and babies. In addition to creating wellness programs to care for mother and baby pre-, during and post-birth, they are also using case managers to intervene on members' behalf during difficult times.
Caring for normal- and high-risk pregnancies
- Baby Yourself is a voluntary wellness program available to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama members at no cost. The program assigns expectant mothers their own personal nurse to guide them through the care journey before and after pregnancy. These nurses specialize in labor and delivery, postpartum care, neonatal intensive care, high-risk pregnancy care and more. The program also offers members access to a maternity app that provides timelines and weekly checklists to help expectant mothers track their pregnancies and stay on top of their appointments.
- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina's (BCBS SC's) maternity coaching program offers tiered support for varying levels of need: low/medium-risk pregnancies, high-risk pregnancies and neonatal intensive care. In addition to helping expectant mothers lower their risk of complications, maternity health coaches—all registered nurses—help members navigate their BCBS SC benefits and answer any questions they may have along the way. They are also an important source of support for mothers, helping reduce the fear that can come with pregnancy and birth.
Providing specialized support
- In Texas, when an expectant mother with a high-risk twin pregnancy entered Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas' (BCBS TX's) Special Beginnings program, she not only got support, but also camaraderie from medical management specialist Hillary Sandoval. Sandoval helped this Medicaid member navigate her journey, from a one-on-one prenatal class to home visits. Sandoval also gave the mother-to-be her personal number to call anytime with questions. The maternity program also provides mothers-to-be with risk factor identification and monitoring, ongoing education and customized support to meet their unique needs.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans.