UnitedHealthcare creates maternity care reimbursement program in N.J.

UnitedHealthcare is adding to its value-based reimbursement programs to include maternity care — a traditionally costly series of visits and interactions with doctors — with the goal of reducing C-sections in New Jersey and Texas.

With the addition of maternity care, UHC is anticipating spending $75 billion in value-based reimbursements by the end of 2020.

“By helping close gaps in care and encourage healthy, full-term pregnancies, the program can help facilitate access to value-based care to help support fewer non-medically indicated cesarean deliveries to help reduce the risk of pre-delivery hospital admissions and other pregnancy-related complications,” according to a spokesman for UHC.

“The bundled payments cover maternity care 280 days before delivery and extend up to 60 days after discharge from the health care facility, helping support prenatal, delivery and postpartum services.”

The C-section rate for low-risk pregnancies among women enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s employer-sponsored health plans in 2018 was 18 percent, lower than the 23.9 percent target set by the federal government, according to a statement from UHC.

“These resources can help improve access to quality, coordinated care, offering important support to women and families before, during and after delivery,” said Janice Huckaby, a senior vice present and regional chief medical officer at UHC. “Value-based care programs such as this help improve clinical quality, patient safety and satisfaction, and care coordination among physicians, with the goal of reducing costs.”