New maternity program promotes safer pregnancies through personalized care

New maternity program promotes safer pregnancies through personalized care
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Initiative helps address maternal health crisis by informing expectant moms about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin to prevent preeclampsia

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — To help address the unprecedented maternal health crisis affecting American women and support prenatal and postpartum care, Aetna, a CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) company, has launched a new initiative as part of the Aetna Maternity Program.

"Over the past two decades we've seen a steady rise in pregnancy-related deaths, and significant racial and ethnic disparities persist that can lead to poor maternal outcomes," said Troy Brennan, M.D., CVS Health Chief Medical Officer. "The main contributors to this crisis reflect deep-rooted issues within our health care system that we must address, including limited access to care."

Building on a long-standing commitment to connect expectant moms with care that meets their unique needs, this first-of-its-kind initiative is focused specifically on preventing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death that is characterized by new-onset hypertension during pregnancy. Preeclampsia can lead to serious maternal complications, including stroke, seizure and organ failure and accounts for 15 percent of all preterm births in the U.S. Rates of the condition have increased 25 percent in the last ten years alone.https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/low-dose-aspirin-use-for-the-prevention-of-morbidity-and-mortality-from-preeclampsia-preventive-medication

According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. is one of the only high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise. Black women are also being disproportionately affected, with rates of severe maternal morbidity and mortality two to three times that of white women.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges, as many expectant moms may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits. In turn, they may increase their risk of developing complications that go undetected.

Recent recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and multiple medical professional societies recommend low-dose aspirin for the prevention of preeclampsia for women at high risk for developing the condition. By leveraging data analytics, the Aetna Maternity Program identifies pregnant women with risk factors for developing the condition for individualized outreach and education. Women at high risk are sent a personalized prenatal care kit that contains educational materials along with an 81-mg bottle of low-dose aspirin, a low-cost intervention that may reduce the risk for developing the condition. Members receive an appointment reminder card encouraging them to speak with their pregnancy care provider about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin and whether it is right for them. All pregnant members are also mailed information developed by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine on preeclampsia and prevention steps.

"This is an innovative, simple way to promote safer pregnancies by enhancing awareness about an important cause of maternal and infant harm," said Daniel Knecht, M.D., Vice President of Clinical Product for CVS Health. "This initiative is also designed to help close gaps in knowledge by supporting members in conversations with their providers."

Low-dose aspirin as a preventive therapy

While there is no cure for preeclampsia, taking one low-dose aspirin a day has been shown to reduce the risk of the condition and some of its complications. Pregnant women with risk factors such as hypertension, Type 1 or 2 diabetes, obesity, and a history of preeclampsia benefit from the use of prenatal aspirin, according to the USPSTF. When this therapy was started in the first trimester in at-risk women, it reduced the incidence of hypertension by 24% and preterm birth by 14%.

To further support women's health, Aetna is exploring additional ways to partner with network physicians and provide this latest guidance.

"CVS Health has delivery channels that can bring critical information and resources such as low-dose aspirin right to members' doorsteps. This outreach is coupled with a care management program featuring highly trained and dedicated nurses to support the personalized needs of pregnant members," noted Joanne Armstrong, M.D., head of Women's Health for CVS Health and an OB/GYN.

For more information about the Aetna Maternity Program and the company's efforts to prevent preeclampsia, click here.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Contact

Kathleen Biesecker
bieseckerk@aetna.com
703-472-8466

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Creating safer pregnancies through preeclampsia prevention

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A new, first-of-its-kind initiative designed to prevent the devastating impacts of preeclampsia in pregnant members launched today as part of the Aetna Maternity Program. Building on the enterprise’s long-standing commitment to support expectant mothers on a path to better health, the initiative is focused on preventing this condition, a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death that accounts for 15 percent of all preterm births in the U.S.https://www.preeclampsia.org/faqs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. is one of the only high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise. This crisis also disproportionately affects Black women.https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/nvsr69_02-508.pdfhttps://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/ And, in recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, as many expectant moms may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits that could help detect preeclampsia risks.

“Alarmingly, women today are 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers were, and Black women are at an even higher risk. We must do more to address this public health crisis and keep moms and babies healthy,” says Daniel Knecht, M.D., CVS Health’s vice president of clinical products. “The goal of this initiative is to help empower our members to have productive discussions with their providers throughout their pregnancy journey.” 

Empowering safer pregnancies

Amidst the COVID-19 landscape, pregnant women may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits and in turn be at higher risk for developing complications that go undetected.

Read the infographic

By leveraging Aetna claims data, the program identifies high-risk pregnant members for individualized outreach and subsequently sends them an engaging, personalized prenatal care kit. Each kit contains educational materials about preeclampsia, along with an 81 mg bottle of low-dose aspirin, an intervention that can substantially reduce the risk for developing the condition. Members also receive an appointment reminder card encouraging them to have informed conversations with their obstetrician about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin.Note: Pregnant women should always talk to their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen.

Although preeclampsia has no cure, taking one low-dose aspirin a day has been proven to be a low-cost, safe medication that can significantly cut the risk of the condition and some of its complications.https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1704559?query=recirc_curatedRelated_article Despite compelling evidence, providers and patients are largely unaware of aspirin’s effectiveness, highlighting the important need for continued education.

“CVS Health is well-positioned to improve both access to and outcomes of maternal and neonatal health care, including for causes of severe maternal morbidity that is disproportionately experienced among minority women,” noted Joanne Armstrong, M.D., CVS Health enterprise head of women’s health and an OB/GYN. “We have delivery channels that can bring critical information and resources, such as low-dose aspirin, right to members’ doorsteps. This outreach is coupled with a care management program featuring highly trained and dedicated nurses to support the personalized needs of pregnant members.”

The initiative is an exciting and simple way that CVS Health and Aetna are empowering safer pregnancies and connecting expectant mothers with preventative care that meets their unique needs. As part of the Aetna Maternity Program’s efforts, all pregnant members will receive a letter and flyer from the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine informing them about preeclampsia and its signs and symptoms.

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Age-friendly care for older adults

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People over the age of 65 make up an increasingly large part of our population. By 2030, it is predicted that there will be 74 million older adults in the United States. For many of us, this includes our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors. Older adults also make up a growing percentage of the patients seen at MinuteClinic.

Recently, The John A. Hartford Foundation sponsored a partnership between MinuteClinic, Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to produce training tools and resources that will be used at MinuteClinic to further improve and evolve how we care for older adults. 

This training will enable MinuteClinic to move towards the adoption of the Age-Friendly care in every clinic nationwide for patients 65 years or older, by the beginning of 2021. These age-friendly visits will include questions around the “4Ms Framework” — What Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility, and providers will also share healthy aging tips and suggestions older patients can implement in their everyday life.

Research shows that providing the older adult population with specific, age-friendly care has significant benefits, including a reduction in the number of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and hospital readmissions, improved mobility, a reduction in medication-related problems and early identification of memory loss and depression.

By applying the “4Ms,” MinuteClinic providers will be able to positively impact many of our patients, in a setting that they are comfortable and familiar with. For those opting to seek care through E-Clinic visits, providers will also be able to assess the “4Ms” while patients are in the safety and comfort of their own home.

MinuteClinic is currently implementing the “4Ms Framework” across all locations, with the goal of being recognized as an exemplar of age-friendly care in early 2021. MinuteClinic is pleased to be the largest retail clinic network in the U.S. to adopt age-friendly care system-wide.

An older woman smiles while relaxing at the beach with two female friends.
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