Collaboration Announced to Improve Care for High-Risk Postpartum Women

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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

By intervening at the earliest possible stage, we hope to improve health outcomes and minimize or prevent the consequences of costly chronic health conditions. -- DR. ELIZABETH HOWELL

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."

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Sid Dinsay
The Mount Sinai Medical Center
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