Regence becomes first US health plan with perinatal palliative care benefits

Portland, Ore.-based health insurer Regence will offer comprehensive care benefits for perinatal palliative care, becoming the first health plan in the U.S. to provide the benefits.

Approximately 23,000 babies die prior to or a year after birth annually, according to the CDC. Under the coverage, Regence will match members with a nurse or a social worker who will coordinate their care and guide them through palliative care processes.

"By offering comprehensive palliative care benefits to members of all ages, we ensure that families or caregivers facing one of life's greatest tragedies will have an extra layer of support when they need it most," Bruce Smith, MD, executive medical director for personalized care support at Regence, said in a statement sent to Becker's Hospital Review.

Regence serves 1.7 million enrollees through Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield in select Washington counties.

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