UnitedHealthcare launches bundled payments for maternity care

UnitedHealth Group unveiled a bundled payment program for maternity services aimed at closing care gaps for moms and babies before and after delivery.

The bundled payment program, launched with two healthcare providers in New Jersey and Texas, will reimburse care providers or a hospital for an episode of care — including prenatal, delivery and postpartum services — under a single payment. The bundled payments will link provider reimbursement to care outcomes.

The program, developed in partnership with healthcare provider organization U.S. Women's Health Alliance, is slated to encompass up to 20 provider groups by the end of the year. It builds on UnitedHealthcare's maternity program, which the insurer said has lowered nonmedically indicated C-section deliveries, pre-delivery hospital admissions, average length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, and other delivery and newborn costs.  

Janice Huckaby, MD, senior vice president and regional CMO leading UnitedHealthcare's women's health initiatives, said in a prepared statement: "Value-based care programs such as this help improve clinical quality, patient safety and satisfaction, and care coordination among physicians, with the goal of reducing costs."

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