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Smart Start Offers Crucial Support, Better Outcomes

A healthy pregnancy that results in a healthy, full-term baby is the gold standard for OB-GYNs. Start Smart for Your Baby® provides a wide array of benefits to members, with additional interventions available to high-risk patients. Services range from assistance with basic needs like transportation, lodging, and food, to a rewards program that encourages preventive care visits and information about pregnancy and newborn care. There’s also a robust focus on mental health both before and after delivery. 

The process of connecting a patient with these services begins with their OB-GYN sending a Notification of Pregnancy (NOP) to Buckeye. All NOPs are carefully evaluated for risk factors, and members are referred to the Start Smart for Your Baby program. From there, a care manager reaches out to begin the process of supporting the pregnancy. Jessica Imming, Senior Manager, Program Management says, "We focus on empowering new and expectant parents to take care of their own health and connecting them with the support they need to do that.”

Within the program, one-on-one interventions fall into four main areas of focus:

  1. Care Management Clinical guidance for the member throughout their pregnancy
  2. Care Coordination Management of substance use and Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)
  3. MemberConnections® Non-clinical guidance and outreach for the member throughout their pregnancy
  4. ConnectionsPlus Phone Phone services for high-risk members without reliable access.

Child next to Pregnant Belly Smiling

Pregnant woman speaking to Provider

Additional interventions include incentive programs such as the My Health Pays® rewards program, baby showers, birthday parties, a neonatal admissions program, and perinatal depression screening, all of which are aimed at encouraging preventive care that supports a healthy, full-term pregnancy. Care managers can connect members with community resources they may not be aware of. Imming says, “We’re able to bridge gaps for things like assistance with utility bills and daycare.”

Most care managers are OB-trained and can answer any and all questions a parent may have. That emotional support can be invaluable during a stressful, high-risk pregnancy. “Outside of quick OB visits, this gives the member someone they can talk to, anytime, about any questions or concerns they have,” says Imming.

After delivery, Buckeye members are provided with 60 days of benefits, and the program ends once Medicaid coverage ends.  

Care managers work with members to either reapply for Medicaid or secure other coverage if their coverage is ending. The Start Smart for Your Baby program provides crucial interventions that can make a huge difference in pregnancy outcomes. Imming says, “We have proven that this kind of engagement reduces preterm deliveries, low birth weights, and neonatal admissions, and helps avoid the financial and emotional stress of caring for a preterm baby.” The best way for providers to help expectant parents is to include all risk factors and accurate contact information when filling out  an NOP. 

Reach out to your Buckeye contact to find out what services are available to your patients.