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Addressing maternal mortality rates

June 19, 2020

The United States is one of just a few high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise.

“It is more dangerous now to have a baby in the U.S. than it was two decades ago,” says Dan Knecht, MD, CVS Health’s vice president of clinical products. “That’s really alarming.”

Watch the video to see how CVS Health and Aetna’s combined capabilities are trying to turn that trend around by getting expectant mothers on a path to better health.

The company’s efforts include:

  • Looking at racial disparities, including social determinants of health

  • Identifying high-risk patients through analytics

  • Mailing bottles of low-dose aspirin to expectant mothers to help reduce the risk of preeclampsia

  • Dedicated nurses working directly with members

“We have delivery channels that I think both surprise and delight patients through the retail side,” says Joanne Armstrong, MD, senior director of clinical solutions for CVS Health. “And then we combine that with a care management program where we have highly trained, dedicated, and passionate nurses who understand this clinical area, understand the diseases we're talking about and have relationships with the patients.”

COVID-19 has complicated matters further, but, again, CVS Health has stepped up to help. Along with an algorithm to help identify at-risk patients, liberalized telemedicine policies have allowed more virtual checkups.