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Blue Shield of California targets maternal health with Mahmee partnership

Members have access to a support team including doulas, nurses, lactation consultants, nutritionists and care coordinators.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Photo: juanmahache/Getty Images

Blue Shield of California is strengthening its relationship with maternal healthcare technology company Mahmee, with the latter's services now available to more BSCA members.

As part of Blue Shield's Maternal Child Health Equity Initiative, the nonprofit health plan has been working with Mahmee to provide a test program for members to receive access to holistic maternal health services.

Eligible Blue Shield members have access to a support team including doulas, nurses, lactation consultants, mental health coaches, nutritionists, and care coordinators who are available all days of the week.

Now, the program is expanding from its regional test in Fresno, Los Angeles and Sacramento to eight employer groups, including Blue Shield of California employees.

"Our current maternal health crisis demands an innovative solution," said Melissa Hanna, cofounder and CEO at Mahmee. "Through our collaboration with Blue Shield, we are closing gaps in maternal health equity and heralding a new model of care for families across California."

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

Mahmee provides eligible Blue Shield members with access to a variety of support during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum, including childbirth education,monitoring of pregnancy and postpartum vitals,one-on-one-visits,unlimited virtual support,and doula attendance as part of labor and delivery.

"As a nonprofit health plan dedicated to providing access to healthcare that is high quality, equitable, and affordable, it is critical that we provide comprehensive and innovative solutions for our members who need and want support in their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey," said Jackie Ejuwa, vice president of Health Transformation at Blue Shield of California. "This is why we are thrilled to expand Mahmee's services."

Through this work, said Ejuwa, Mahmee and Blue Shield of California aim to uplift historically marginalized communities and reduce racial disparities in maternal healthcare. All participants will be connected to Mahmee's team of maternal healthcare professionals, whothe company said are committed to cultural sensitivity, anti-racism and gender-affirming care.

Blue Shield of California is a taxpaying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with 4.8 million members, over 7,500 employees and $24 billion in annual revenue.

THE LARGER TREND

In August, Blue Shield of California said it will be rolling out a new pharmacy care model, teaming with a number of organizations on an initiative designed to lower prescription medication costs to the tune of about $500 million annually once the multiyear strategy is fully implemented.

Blue Shield intends to make this happen via partnerships with companies "that share Blue Shield's vision for more affordable and transparent pharmacy services," according to the organization.

The Pharmacy Care Reimagined initiative, as it's been called, "will help provide its members with convenient, transparent access to medications while lowering costs," according to Blue Shield.

GoodRx data published in 2022 showed that prescription drug costs have increased 2.5% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer:Jeff.Lagasse@himssmedia.com