NEWTOWN, Conn., Oct. 18, 2016  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Year one of an ongoing pilot program in Texas takes an innovative approach to paying for and evaluating Medicaid births: it unifies pregnancy, delivery, and newborn care into one episode with one budget, instead of treating them as separate experiences. This may seem intuitive, especially for anyone who has experienced pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care. But in American health care, it is far more common to pay for these services separately, and measure their quality independently.

Budgeting all three segments of care together encourages coordination among providers, and rewards clinicians for delivering care in one segment, for example prenatal care, that yields savings and produces strong outcomes in another segment. Lessons from the Texas pilot, published today in NEJM Catalyst, can help other states design their own bundled payment programs for maternity episodes.

Raising quality and lowering costs for births are important goals for any …
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Innovative Medicaid Payment Program for Pregnancy, Delivery, and Newborn Care Yields Important Lessons