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Maternal Health

New Jersey currently ranks 47th out of 50 in the nation when it comes to maternal mortality.

Learn how Horizon is working with both the state and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to significantly reduce maternal health disparities.

  Maternal Health


[Text appears: Closing Gaps in Maternal Health Equity]

The biggest issue with maternal health in New Jersey is that we are ranked number 47th out of 50 states as it pertains to maternal mortality.

[Text appears: New Jersey is ranked 47th out of 50 as it pertains to maternal mortality]

In addition to that, we have the largest racial gap as it pertains to not only maternal mortality, but also infant mortality.

[Text appears: Simone Edwards, DrPH, MPH
Director, Special Projects, Community Health
Healthcare & Network Solutions]

Women of color are seven times more likely to experience maternal mortality in the state of New Jersey than white women.

[Text Appears: A Black birthing person in New Jersey is 7x more likely to die from a pregnancy related issue than their white counterpart]

That is the widest racial disparity in the nation, and that's centered here in New Jersey.

[Text appears: Mildred Menos
Director, Member Advocacy & Community Outreach
Government Programs]

This didn't happen overnight and we know it's not going to be fixed overnight. But we have a lot of leadership, a lot of innovation that's happening to try to change and reduce this disparity.

[Text appears: Valerie Harr
Sr. Director, Community Health & Network Strategy
Healthcare & Network Solutions]

The problem has always existed and over time it has gotten worse. But fortunately for us in the state of New Jersey, our first lady Tammy Murphy helped to sound the alarm on this and created the Nurture NJ Strategic Plan a few years ago.

[Image on screen: Nurture NJ website on laptop]

From there we engaged our provider partners, health system partners, community-based organizations. Galvanized them into identifying solutions that will move the needle in the right direction.

As an innovator in the state and through the work of our pledge which we launched in 2020, really excited about the accomplishments we've achieved to date. And that includes providing doula benefits for Medicaid membership and our individual market.

[Image on screen: Horizon’s Pledge]

And the evidence shows that the support of a doula can reduce the rates of C-section, can reduce the use of Pitocin, can reduce the length of labor, and really have better outcomes for both the birthing individual and the newborn.

A doula is a trusted advisor. I think a doula is that person that everyone wishes that they had when they were going through this confusing, crazy time of pregnancy. They are also able to see what supports you may need that you haven't even thought of.

Horizon stands as the first plan to offer this as a comprehensive benefit on the commercial side with a fully integrated provider network, which I think is a really important piece.

Having community conversations where we, for the first time we did a screening of a very moving documentary called Aftershock. We are also providing implicit and unconscious bias training for our providers, and we're starting to really use our data in a smart way to measure outcomes. Also looking at race and ethnicity.

As a health solutions leader in the state of New Jersey, we have chosen to align with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's five year blueprint in reducing maternal health disparities by 50% in five years.

[Image on screen: Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Blueprint]

It's an ambitious goal, but it's definitely achievable.

[Image on screen: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey logo]

[Text appears: Legal disclaimers]