Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas taps tech-enabled pregnancy platforms to improve access for Texas women

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Collaboration with Delfina, InovCares continues BCBSTX’s statewide expansion of Special Beginnings® to improve maternal, infant health outcomes

RICHARDSON, Texas, Oct. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is collaborating with two tech-based platforms, Delfina and InovCares, as part of its expanded Special Beginnings® initiative to improve maternal and infant health outcomes across Texas. Using funding from BCBSTX, the data platforms will help identify early high-risk pregnancy interventions, implement remote monitoring innovations and bridge gaps in care for women identified as candidates by their doctors.

Delfina and InovCares each offer unique ways for providers and patients to interact, efficiently develop individualized care plans, apply healthcare standards evenly, improve engagement and focus on wellness and education to reduce maternal morbidities, mortalities and health disparities.

“Identifying high-risk pregnancy issues – such as hypertension, obesity, stress – earlier with technology and interventions can help us, collectively, to potentially put a dent in the number of pre-term and low birth-weight babies,” said Dr. Mark Chassay, BCBSTX VP and chief medical officer. “It’s important to find innovative solutions that scale and support providers and mothers with the latest knowledge for the best care.”

BCBSTX funding will help with provider recruitment, additional staffing that includes a community health worker or doula, covering patient health care costs and more to improve pregnancy outcomes in the Special Beginnings initiative’s four initial focus regions. Delfina will focus on supporting select providers in Central Texas and Houston regions, and InovCares will focus on Dallas-Ft. Worth and Rio Grande Valley regions.

Delfina CEO Senan Ebrahim, MD, PhD, said he founded the company after watching patients and providers struggle to manage health challenges during pregnancy, including a stillbirth. Those observations motivated him to focus his research on obstetrics.

“We are grateful to join this initiative led by BCBSTX to positively impact maternal health. I have worked with providers in Texas and observed how our AI-based system empowers diverse pregnant patients and their care teams with proactive and personalized care,” Ebrahim said. “We are eager to bring our perspective as clinicians and technology innovators to serve pregnant moms and improve their outcomes.”

InovCares CEO Mohamed Kamara said he founded his company for women of color after his sister died from a pregnancy hemorrhage and his aunt died from preeclampsia.

“With the power of technology, data and a shared commitment to inclusivity, we are on a mission to rewrite the future of maternal health,” Kamara said. “This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to simplifying, unifying and truly caring for the whole person. Our aim is clear: to empower women with the tools and support they need to spend less time managing their health and more time enjoying a healthy life.”

Funding to expand access through Delfina and InovCares is part of BCBSTX’s statewide expanded Special Beginnings® maternal and infant health initiative, which aims to improve health outcomes for Texas moms and babies following data that showed nine out of 10 maternal deaths in Texas were preventable.

BCBSTX continues to build on long-standing maternal and infant care programs as well as relationships with trusted local community organizations, health care providers and thought leaders to leverage their knowledge, experience and talents to increase access to care, reduce care gaps and educate and engage Texans at a local level. Other recently announced collaborations include:

BCBSTX’s Special Beginnings expansion aligns with recommendations in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s 2021 and 2022 maternal health equity reports, and focuses on:

  • Implementing quality-based maternal health programs that demonstrate a reduction in preterm/low birth weight babies and obstetric and postpartum emergencies;
  • Expanding access to comprehensive health services including behavioral health care during the preconception, prenatal, and postpartum periods; and
  • Increasing public awareness and community engagement to reduce maternal morbidities, mortalities and health disparities, including the expansion of the maternal health workforce.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with more than 140,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 520 hospitals to serve more than 7 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico). Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. | | | | BCBSTX Community Highlights

About Delfina

Delfina is an AI-driven pregnancy care company tackling the maternal health crisis. Delfina transforms maternal healthcare by leveraging AI capabilities to create a continuous, customizable, and closed-loop pregnancy care platform called Delfina Care. Delfina bridges the maternal health gap by standardizing access to quality care to enable better outcomes for families, while also reducing healthcare costs.

About InovCares

InovCares Connected Comprehensive Healthcare is a tech-driven company modernizing healthcare for women of color. The organization is focused on telehealth services, including specialized point-of-care testing and referrals, to combat infant and maternal morbidities. Providing a culturally-competent, multidisciplinary care delivery model, InovCares offers a full range of prenatal and postpartum care, from low-risk prenatal care with midwives to high-risk care with highly skilled, maternal-fetal physicians and neonatologists.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

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