Partnership to Improve Health Outcomes for Mothers and Babies

A total of 182 health care facilities across the country will support the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative, which aims to reduce preterm births and improve health outcomes for newborns and pregnant women.

Allegiance Health is pleased to announce a new partnership with Meridian Health Plan to implement the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative. Meridian was recently chosen by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center as a funding recipient. Together, Allegiance and Meridian will use this grant to assist pregnant women who receive prenatal care through Allegiance Health.

Director of Allegiance Women’s and Children’s Health Services Jenny Wren said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Meridian Health Plan on this important initiative, which will lead to improved outcomes for the mothers and infants we care for in Jackson County and our surrounding communities.”

A total of 182 health care facilities across the country will support the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative, which aims to reduce preterm births and improve health outcomes for newborns and pregnant women. The four-year initiative also seeks to determine approaches to decrease the anticipated total cost of medical care during pregnancy, delivery and over the first year of life for children born to mothers in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“Meridian is thrilled to implement this grant in partnership with Allegiance Health,” said Meridian Health Plan Chief Operating Officer Shery Cotton. “I’m proud of the team who worked to make this grant a reality.”

CMS is promoting awareness, spreading best practices and promoting transparency by choosing to fund this initiative to reduce early elective deliveries. The initiative will also test and evaluate enhanced prenatal care interventions, including prenatal care through centering/group visits, prenatal care at birth centers and prenatal care at maternity care homes for women who are at risk of delivering preterm.

Babies born prematurely are a growing public health concern. More than 500,000 premature births occur in the United States each year, a number that has grown by 36 percent over the last 20 years.

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