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New Jersey Expands Medicaid Program to Include Coverage for CenteringPregnancy® to Improve Maternal Health and Birth Outcomes

1013 Days ago

First state with legislation that sanctions Federally Qualified Health Centers to bill for group prenatal care

Boston, MA, Aug. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) announced that its evidence-based CenteringPregnancy® model of group prenatal care is now covered under New Jersey’s expanded Medicaid program as a result of recent legislation. All providers including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Community Health Centers (CHCs) offering Centering are now able to bill for group prenatal care services under this new law, provided they are accredited by CHI or are licensed sites working towards accreditation.

The new law is aimed at improving maternal health and birth outcomes in the state by increasing access to quality group prenatal care for vulnerable populations. The legislation also points to a similar model in South Carolina as the goal for implementation and paves the way to take advantage of enhanced reimbursement payment options in providing value-based maternity care.  

“New Jersey continues to lead in expanding access to Centering as an aggressive strategy to improve maternal and infant health. The state stands to make significant gains with this comprehensive strategy, which includes the state Department of Health, private philanthropy and now the NJ Medicaid program,” said Angie Truesdale, CEO of Centering Healthcare Institute.

This legislation comes close on the heels of a recent announcement of state and private funders’ collaborative effort to invest in the implementation of CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting® across five community health centers in New Jersey. This effort is part of New Jersey Department of Health’s ‘Healthy Women, Healthy Families’ initiative, in collaboration with The Nicholson Foundation, The Burke Foundation and The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, to improve pregnancy outcomes in high-risk populations, address health disparities and reduce Black infant mortality.

CHI’s Centering model of care combines health assessment, interactive learning and community building to help support positive health behaviors and drive better health outcomes. With over 100 published studies and peer-reviewed articles, evidence shows that Centering reduces costs, improves health outcomes for mothers and their babies and reduces racial health disparities.

CenteringPregnancy is a nationally recognized model of group prenatal care shown to improve a wide range of birth outcomes including lowering risk of preterm births by 33-47%, reducing low birth weights and increasing breastfeeding rates. CenteringPregnancy group care follows the recommended schedule of ten prenatal visits, but each visit is ninety minutes to two hours long—giving patients ten times as much time with their provider team and the opportunity to build a community of support with their peers. Patients engage in their care by taking their weight and blood pressure, recording their health data and have private time with their provider for the clinical assessment.


About Centering Healthcare Institute

CHI is a national non-profit organization, based in Boston, MA, with a mission to improve health and transform the way care is delivered. With over two decades of experience as the go-to resource for group healthcare, CHI has pioneered and sustained the Centering model of group care currently offered across 585 healthcare practice sites impacting close to 70,000 patients each year. The evidence-based Centering model combines health assessment, interactive learning and community building to help support positive health behaviors and drive better health outcomes. CenteringPregnancy® and CenteringParenting® provide the highest quality of care to families from pregnancy through age two of the child. The CenteringHealthcare® model of care is being extended to many different health conditions including groups for asthma, diabetes, opioid recovery, cancer survivors, chronic pain and other patient populations. Visit www.centeringhealthcare.org for more information.


Vandana Devgan
Centering Healthcare Institute

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