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Innovative program aims to improve the health of Rhode Island mothers and infants

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Care New England, and its employed and interested community physicians today announced the first phase of an initiative providing an integrated care model and innovative payment model for obstetrical patients. Building on the depth and expertise of leading obstetrician/gynecologists at Women & Infants Hospital, the new initiative will strengthen care integration and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. According to the team working on this new model, the goal will be to deliver the best end-to-end experience for mothers giving birth, from the first prenatal physician visit, through delivery at the hospital, to a safe and comfortable transition home following the baby’s birth.

According to Maureen G. Phipps, MD, chief of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants, “Providers across our community embrace and adopt best practices and protocols for obstetrics. The initiative with Blue Cross offers a unique opportunity to engage a broader range of partners in the establishment and adoption of community-wide clinical best practices. It is our hope that this will make Rhode Island a national leader in defining and delivering maternity care excellence.”

“This program is unique in that the architects include physicians, a health care system and a health insurer,” said Dennis D. Keefe, president and CEO of Care New England. “The fact that this group produced a new care delivery and payment model is strong testament to the commitment, trust and transparency of all involved.”

Phase I of the program will focus on the family’s experience at Women & Infants Hospital at the time of delivery and the six weeks following delivery; it will include providing an increased level of service in the transition from hospital to home, post-delivery nursing visits, more intensive focus on support of the new family unit, such as family planning and depression screening, as well as education and screening for long-term risks associated with gestational diabetes. Phase II is expected to focus on developing evidence-based care protocols to manage prenatal care.

"This initiative is the best example we have in Rhode Island to date of providers, from the hospital system and from the community, working together to improve on the already strong care model for a population of very important patients. This combined with a new payment methodology that incents an evidence-based, best practice approach to maternity care is just the beginning of larger changes in health care delivery and financing that Blue Cross and all of our provider partners are working toward," said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president and CEO for BCBSRI. "In this new model, the patient is at the center, care teams are coordinated and far more integrated and payment arrangements provide financial incentives for the health of populations."

This program grew out of a long-term strategic partnership between BCBSRI and CNE that launched in 2012. Phase I of this two-part program will launch January 1, 2015 and Phase II will be developed in 2015.

Care New England, located in Rhode Island, was founded in 1996 by Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital. Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island joined the system as a hospital partner in 2013. Care New England is an integrated health care system that offers a continuum of quality care. The system includes primary care and specialty physicians; three teaching hospitals affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Butler, Memorial and Women & Infants; a community hospital, Kent; a visiting nurse and home care agency, the VNA of Care New England; and Care New England Wellness Center.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 450,000 members. Our mission is to improve our members’ health and peace of mind by facilitating their access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. BCBSRI is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at

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