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PHILADELPHIA (February 21, 2013) – Einstein Healthcare Network is one of 27 healthcare providers nationwide, and the only one in Philadelphia, to win a Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns award from the Department of Health and Human Services, announced HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Einstein will use its $675,000 share of the award to expand and improve care at its two prenatal clinics.
“We’re very proud of being selected to receive this grant,” said Arnold Cohen, MD, former chairman of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department who will be the principal investigator on the project. “It shows our commitment to the community and our innovative approach to improving the quality of care we provide.”
Einstein will use the federal funds to implement a group care model at its two clinics, in Philadelphia and Montgomery County. The Centering Pregnancy Model provides prenatal care in a group setting with 10 or 12 other women at a similar stage of pregnancy. The funding will allow Einstein to provide care for 1,500 women over the three years of the award.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are helping communities across the country improve prenatal care for expectant mothers so that they can have a healthy delivery and a healthy baby,” said HHS Secretary Sebelius. “The Strong Start initiative will help find ways to reduce the rate of preterm births, which is a public health problem with significant long-term consequences for families and children.”
More than half a million infants are born prematurely in America each year. Costs associated with preterm births are around $26 billion a year. Children born preterm require costly medical attention, often require early intervention services and special education, and can develop conditions that may affect their health and productivity as adults.
“As a nurse and a mother, I know there is nothing more important for a child than getting off to a healthy start,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “We are excited to be partnering with health care providers and community organizations across the country to improve prenatal care to women covered by Medicaid and CHIP.”
Strong Start awardees will be serving women in the areas with the highest preterm birth rates in the country, including areas that are among the top ten prematurity and infant mortality counties according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative is an effort by HHS to reduce preterm births and improve outcomes for newborns and pregnant women. This initiative is a joint effort between the CMS, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) and is also supported by various programs across the multiple agencies of HHS. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) will administer these awards through cooperative agreements over four years.
For more information on the awards announced today, please go to: innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Strong-Start/index.html.
To learn more about other innovative models being tested by the CMS Innovation Center, please visit: innovation.cms.gov.