Health Plan News – In a significant move to improve maternal health care and address systemic inequities in the healthcare system, Point32Health, the parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, is teaming up with Ariadne Labs to expand TeamBirth, a clinically proven care process innovation. The expansion comes on the heels of a successful pilot program conducted at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is a key partner in this initiative.
Point32Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Glenn Pomerantz, expressed the importance of their commitment to improving maternity care, stating, “The statistics on maternal health outcomes in this country are well reported, and we must do all we can to improve healthcare for expectant mothers. Creating a more equitable health system is one of our top priorities, and developing programs focused on improving maternity care is integral to our overall strategy. Our ongoing work with Ariadne Labs allows us to address systemic inequities within the healthcare system while also improving maternity care for all.”
Maternal mortality rates in the United States have been on the rise for decades, with Americans today being 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their own mothers. These risks are disproportionately higher for Black and Native mothers, irrespective of their income or education levels. A significant contributor to these alarming statistics is the breakdown in communication between healthcare providers and patients, responsible for 80-90 percent of preventable injuries to women and babies during childbirth. TeamBirth aims to enhance safety, dignity, and equity in childbirth by structuring essential information that should be communicated during every labor assessment. The program fosters communication between the mother, the family, and the clinical care team through a range of tools, including live birth plans, storyboarding, and birth plan “huddles” between the clinical team during labor, as well as decision-making tools to reduce cesarean deliveries.
Amber Weiseth, the Director of Ariadne Labs’ Delivery Decisions Initiative, emphasized the importance of equitable access to safe and dignified birth experiences, saying, “All people deserve equitable access to a safe, dignified birth experience. We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Point32Health, Perinatal-Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative of Massachusetts, Betsy Lehman Center, and our dedicated hospital partners to bring TeamBirth to more patients across Massachusetts.”
The expansion of TeamBirth will include several health systems across Massachusetts, such as Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cape Cod Hospital, Fairview Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Sturdy Health | Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center.
Dr. Robert L. Barbieri, the interim chief of obstetrics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, praised the implementation of TeamBirth at their institution, saying, “At the Brigham, TeamBirth has significantly increased the perception of our birthing patients that their symptoms, lived experiences, and preferences are elicited, recognized, and respected by our clinicians. By improving communication among all the members of the birth team, including the patient, support persons, labor nurse, and physician/midwife, TeamBirth improves birth outcomes and patient-reported satisfaction with their care. I highly recommend that all birth centers consider implementing TeamBirth.”
About Point32Health Point32Health is a leading health and wellbeing organization committed to delivering a better healthcare experience to its members and communities. As one of the top twenty health plans in the United States, Point32Health builds on the quality of its founding organizations, Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The organization aims to provide equitable access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, orientation, gender identity, or ability. Point32Health offers a diverse range of health plans, with a mission to guide and empower healthier lives for everyone.
About Ariadne Labs Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. With a mission to save lives and reduce suffering, Ariadne Labs envisions health systems that equitably deliver the best possible care for every patient, everywhere, every time. The organization employs human-centered design, health systems implementation science, public health expertise, and frontline clinical care experience to design, test, and spread scalable systems-level solutions to some of healthcare’s most pressing problems. Ariadne Labs’ work has been accessed in over 165 countries, touching the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
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