February 26, 2024

Rethinking Our Approach to Maternal Health

The US is failing mothers, with millions, especially those belonging to ethnic-racial minorities and those of lower socioeconomic statuses, struggling to access adequate maternal healthcare.

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The erosion of our maternal care infrastructure, including the loss of over 300 birthing facilities in five years, and fragmentation of maternal health services, has left healthcare providers overwhelmed and led to negative outcomes for mothers and children. The fact of the matter is 80 percent of maternal deaths are preventable, yet at 24 per 100,000 live births, the US maternal mortality rate is more comparable to Iran than those of peers in Europe and other developed nations.

Adjusting Our Focus

Around 50 percent of maternal deaths occur in the year following birth, yet clinical interventions tend to neglect the periods before and after birth, focusing instead on the delivery, leaving many mothers at risk of both physiological and psychological consequences of pregnancy. The danger of this, is that during the antepartum period, the lack of attention to maternal comorbidities leaves the burden on facilities to “clean up” the problems associated with missed opportunities for risk prediction and disease prevention or mitigation.

For those choosing to have children later in life, the risk of complications are elevated by the presence of chronic conditions such as obesity or cardiovascular disease, which require additional care and intervention.

Furthermore, disparities in how racial minorities receive care further compounds the issue. Racial minorities have disproportionately higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, especially among Black women, who are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications compared to Hispanic or white women.

Reducing the risk of adverse outcomes requires a coordination of care from primary care physicians, obstetricians, and maternity specialist providers including, lactation consultants, doulas, nutritionists, and mental health professionals, to ensure mothers' needs are addressed throughout both pregnancy and early motherhood. But with no centrally unified system via which to coordinate this care, critical interventions have been neglected.

Implementing Change

A unification of the maternal care system, which focuses on eliminating racial and socioeconomic disparities, addressing risk and facilitating access, is needed to ensure better outcomes for mother and children, alleviate the burden on patients and providers, and reduce costs associated with care.

Mother Goose Health’s maternity care management platform is revolutionizing the maternal care network, coordinating all aspects of care for patients from one central base.

Integrating with the provider’s EHR, existing workflows and health information exchanges, Mother Goose Health has a unique view into risk. Utilizing proprietary, emergency alert protocols, the platform enables real-time escalation and timely intervention for medical and social risks. With a national network of partners across the maternity care ecosystem, Mother Goose Health facilitates timely referrals and interventions, with automated and human oversight, to optimize access and successful outcomes.

Paired with a proprietary patient facing application, which enables remote monitoring, patients are provided with self-management tools, dynamic evidence-based care pathways, educational resources and 24/7 chat with their care management team, and facilitates access to services such as nutrition, mental health, and breastfeeding support for a seamless patient experience.

Crucially, this proactive approach to addressing risk factors and social determinants of health has enabled Mother Goose Health to reduce preterm birth rates by 55.5 percent* compared to the national average and achieve a 22 percent* reduction in C-section delivery rates, as well as increase patient satisfaction and engagement.

By proactively addressing risk factors, expediting intervention and improving access to services within a collaborative ecosystem, Mother Goose Health is enhancing the efficiency of health plan operations; easing the burden of providers and ensuring mother’s receive the care they need, to deliver better maternal health care at a lower cost, with better outcomes.