Collaboration Announced to Improve Care for High-Risk Postpartum Women

Innovative partnership between the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Healthfirst and The New York Academy of Medicine aims to improve care for low-income, postpartum patients in New York City

 – November 24, 2014 /Press Release/  –– 

Today leaders from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the New York Academy of Medicine, and Healthfirst – the largest Medicaid Managed Care insurer for deliveries at The Mount Sinai Hospital -- announced the implementation of a new postpartum payment and delivery system to improve postpartum care of high-risk women.  The project is being funded by a $500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the lead investigator for the project, titled “Reducing Disparities in Care for High-Risk Postpartum Women Through Redesign of Payment and Delivery Systems,” is Elizabeth A. Howell, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Population Health Science and Policy, and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

"Mount Sinai has a distinguished leadership record in the field of quality improvement and reducing health disparities, and we thank our colleagues at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and our partners at NYAM and Healthfirst for their generous support of this critically important initiative," said David L. Reich, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Many women who are from low-income households and who have been diagnosed with hypertension, gestational diabetes and other chronic illnesses often fail to get appropriate medical follow-up after the delivery of their child, putting their long-term health at risk. In addition, these chronic health conditions are a leading cause of postpartum hospital readmissions.  

“Our project aims to improve quality of care for high-risk postpartum patients by combining a social work-case management intervention with a new payment system designed to incentivize clinicians,” said Dr. Howell.  “By intervening at the earliest possible stage, we hope to improve health outcomes and minimize or prevent the consequences of costly chronic health conditions.”

Susan Beane, MD, Healthfirst Vice President and Medical Director, adds, “This project builds on the strong existing partnership between Healthfirst and Mount Sinai to study the impact of an innovative payment and delivery model that can provide high quality, efficient and equitable health care for our members and the communities that we serve.”  

The Center for Health Innovation led, by José A. Pagán, PhD, at The New York Academy of Medicine, will also lend its expertise in the design of new payment systems to improve the accessibility and quality of health care services.   

The project's team has received a three-year, $499,956 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as part of the foundation’s “Reducing Health Care Disparities Through Payment and Delivery System Reform” program, administered by the University of Chicago. The joint proposal was one of three projects selected in a national competition.

Marshall Chin, MD, Director of the Reducing Health Care Disparities National Program Office, said, “The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is part of one of the largest health systems in the country and, ultimately, the payment and health care delivery mechanism proposed here—if effective—has the potential to affect thousands of deliveries every year, once it is translated and disseminated widely."

About The New York Academy of Medicine
The New York Academy of Medicine advances the health of people in cities.

An independent organization since 1847, NYAM addresses the health challenges facing the world’s urban populations through interdisciplinary approaches to policy leadership, innovative research, evaluation, education, and community engagement. Drawing on the expertise of our professional staff, diverse partners worldwide and more than 2,000 elected Fellows from across the professions, our current priorities are to create environments in cities that support healthy aging; to strengthen systems that prevent disease and promote the public’s health; to eliminate health disparities; and to preserve and promote the heritage of medicine and public health. For more information, visit www.nyam.org.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. Its goal is to build a national “Culture of Health” that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About Healthfirst
Healthfirst is a not-for-profit health plan serving more than one million members in downstate New York. Created in 1993 by a consortium of the region’s health systems, Healthfirst’s operating model strives to achieve quality outcomes and member satisfaction through collaboration with its extensive provider network and community organizations.

Healthfirst offers a comprehensive selection of free and low-cost health insurance options for individuals and families at every stage of life, including government-sponsored health plans such as Child Health Plus, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Advantage, and Managed Long Term Care, as well as commercial plans such as Healthfirst Leaf Plans. We treat our members with the same care and attention we give our own families.

For more information on Healthfirst, visit www.healthfirst.org.

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community‐based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12‐minority‐owned free‐standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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