Amerigroup Public Policy Institute Earns HHS Strong Start Award

Feb 21, 2013, 16:17 ET from Amerigroup

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Amerigroup, a wholly owned subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc., today announced its Public Policy Institute (PPI) received an award from the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative, an effort by the United States Department of Health & Human Services, for its group prenatal care project proposal.

Strong Start is an effort among the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families to reduce preterm births and improve outcomes for newborns and pregnant women.

"We are committed to improving maternal health outcomes and reducing preterm births through group prenatal care," said Kate Massey, Amerigroup executive director of PPI. "We are grateful for the funds made possible by Strong Start, which will equip providers with seed money to facilitate extended group prenatal care visits, provide increased health education, and foster peer support relationships to enhance the care provided to Louisiana women on Medicaid with high-risk pregnancies."

The Amerigroup PPI, along with the support of community-based organizations and BAYOU HEALTH, convened the Bayou CenteringPregnancy project proposal based on Centering Healthcare Institute's (CHI) CenteringPregnancy model, focused on improving maternal health outcomes through group prenatal care. The Southeast Louisiana Area Health Education Center has been selected as the third party administrator responsible for oversight of implementation activities and distribution of funds.

This collaboration between Amerigroup and CHI is an outgrowth of the long-standing partnership between the two organizations that have worked together in the past to promote group prenatal care in clinics serving high risk populations.

"CHI is proud of its partnership with Amerigroup, a champion for maternal child health, and we congratulate the Company on its Strong Start award," said Colleen Senterfitt, CHI chief operating officer. "Together we have established CenteringPregnancy prenatal care in three Texas and Maryland sites, and we look forward to continuing our Amerigroup partnership through Strong Start to establish an effective CenteringPregnancy presence in Louisiana."

The Bayou CenteringPregnancy project will provide pregnant women with enhanced behavioral and psychosocial support by implementing group prenatal care at four obstetrical hospitals in the state —Louisiana State University (LSU) New Orleans, LSU Shreveport, Ochsner Medical Center and Woman's Hospital.

Funding made available through Strong Start will cover the costs associated with adoption of the CenteringPregnancy model at participating practices, including provider training, care delivery system redesign, supplies and necessary administrative support. In addition, this project will fund the development and implementation of health education content tailored to the CenteringPregnancy curriculum in partnership with the Text4baby program, which will enhance the support women receive through group prenatal visits. The Bayou CenteringPregnancy project will also fund ongoing data collection and learning collaborative among partners to evaluate the efficacy of the model and promote continuous quality improvement.

About PPI 
The Amerigroup PPI was established to contribute research and analysis to the public policy discourse around health care entitlement programs. We promote innovation through strategic partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other business partners to test interventions that improve health outcomes while reducing costs. In addition, we leverage data collected by our health plans to evaluate the impact of our programs on the health and quality of our members, as well as the cost of program operations.

About Amerigroup
Amerigroup, a wholly owned subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc., is the largest company focused solely on meeting the health care needs of financially vulnerable Americans. Currently serving approximately 2.7 million members in 13 states nationwide, Amerigroup is dedicated to offering real solutions that improve health care access and quality for our members, while proactively working to reduce the overall cost of care to taxpayers. Together with WellPoint's affiliated health plans, we serve more than 4.5 million beneficiaries of state sponsored health plans in 20 states, making us the nation's leading provider of health care solutions for public programs. Amerigroup accepts all eligible people regardless of age, sex, race or disability.



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SOURCE Amerigroup