In a leap forward for maternal health, Molina Healthcare, in partnership with Lucina Analytics and Progeny Health, recently disclosed the promising results of their obstetrics health care model. This model, which incorporates artificial intelligence (AI), impacts the full cycle of obstetrical care, from early pregnancy detection to post-NICU community-based care management.

Molina Healthcare, a FORTUNE 500 company, provides managed healthcare services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs and through the state insurance marketplaces. Lucina Analytics, a subsidiary of Unified Women’s Healthcare, utilizes its AI women’s health platform to assist innovative health plans, Medicaid providers, and public entities in improving birth outcomes and creating healthier communities. Progeny Health promotes better maternal and infant health outcomes across America through its end-to-end maternal and infant care management solution, which includes the intelligent platform, Baby Trax.

Over an 18-month period, with nearly 150,000 patients, the new model showed an 8% decrease in preterm births compared to national trends, an 8% reduction in NICU admissions, and a 9% reduction in total days in the NICU. Most remarkably, racial disparities in preterm births for Black mothers dropped by 60%.

Lucina Analytics powers the AI tool, which allows caregivers to detect pregnancies earlier than traditional methods, enabling first-trimester visits at a rate of up to 80%. “The power of this tool has allowed us to ensure appropriate delivery of prenatal care and improve birth outcomes, especially in minority populations,” said Dr. Jason Dees, EVP and chief medical officer, Molina Healthcare.

The model isn’t limited to prenatal care either. Post-delivery, the AI tool assists in providing crucial support to mothers up to a full year, addressing trends in maternal morbidity and mortality. Dr. Matt Eakins, president of Lucina Analytics, shared, “We assist with birth spacing, screen for postpartum depression, and catch conditions before they are out of control.”

In circumstances where a newborn requires NICU care, this novel model brings additional layers of support. Dr. Linda Genen, chief medical officer at Progeny Health, noted the importance of early care management with both NICU team and family engagement. The model ensures close monitoring of newborns and facilitates collaboration with high-risk OB/GYN care managers.

As healthcare moves into a new era of technology and innovation, novel health care models like this one could be a promising step toward improving obstetric outcomes on a broader scale. With AI’s potential to reduce preterm births and NICU admissions, and more significantly, lessen racial disparities in these outcomes, the model shows how cutting-edge technology can pave the way to a brighter future for maternal health.

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