Women's health solutions company Wildflower launches maternity VBC initiative in New Jersey with collective of health systems

Wildflower Health, a women’s health solutions company, has teamed up with the Healthcare Transformation Consortium (HTC) on a statewide value-based maternity care initiative.

Wildflower is a tech and services company focused on women’s health, offering software, support and services. It also claims to offer the industry’s most comprehensive bundle for value-based maternity care.

The partners plan to work with OB-GYN practices across the state, including practices affiliated with two of the largest OB-GYN networks nationally—Unified Women’s Healthcare and Axia Women’s Health—like New Jersey-based Lifeline Medical Associates. The model aims to serve as a national blueprint for value-based approaches in maternal healthcare, executives said. 

HTC is a collective of seven independent health systems in New Jersey, each with self-funded employee health plans that are committed to expanding access to care for dependents while reducing costs. In the initial phase of the partnership, the value-based model will be delivered to HTC’s more than 67,000 employees, though ultimately, the goal is to expand the model to other payers and self-insured employers, executives said.

The HTC partnership is powered by Wildflower’s maternity bundle, spanning prenatal to postnatal care and accounts for the total cost of pregnancy for both mother and baby. With the bundle, providers and payers can design value-based models, access digital support tools, adapt to value-based requirements, collect data and manage payments and outcomes measurement. 

Among the digital tools available is a platform that helps engage with and remotely monitor patients between visits, plus educational content and tools for patients, as well as data for providers at the point of care. “The software becomes an extension of the practice, not just a siloed engagement tool,” Wildflower’s CEO and founder Leah Sparks told Fierce Healthcare.

The partnership will also leverage Wildflower’s health advocates and coaches who help with care navigation and escalating at-risk women in need of more clinical support. “We want those humans there to be an extra layer of escalation,” Sparks said. 

“This new partnership will allow the HTC to bring all stakeholders together to work for the benefit of expectant mothers, new moms and their babies,” Kevin Lenahan, EVP and chief business & strategy officer for Atlantic Health System, said in a press release. “Working with Wildflower allows us the opportunity to improve both member and physician experience, while helping reduce the cost of care and improve the quality of care for our employee health plan.” 

The collaboration is said to be one of the first regional networks of OB-GYN practices and hospitals working together to transform outcomes in maternity care. Improving maternal health outcomes is a statewide priority in New Jersey, with the state ranking 47th nationwide for its maternal mortality rate. Nurture NJ, a multiagency initiative led by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, aims to reduce the state’s maternal mortality rate by 50% over the next five years and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes. 

“The potential for value-based care models in maternity is significant,” Jack Feltz, M.D., chief medical executive officer for Unified Women’s Healthcare and president of Lifeline Medical Associates, said in the announcement. “We clearly see the power of aligning stakeholders around quality outcomes and are excited to demonstrate the impact of value-based maternity care across the state of New Jersey. This is the beginning of a new way forward for maternal health in this country.”

The reason Wildflower is focused on the value-based care space is that its services are not typically reimbursed under the fee-for-service model, like care coordination or screening for social determinants of health. “For that full value to be captured, you have to put in place a value-based contract,” Sparks noted. Wildflower hopes by aligning a care model with an economic one that makes it sustainable is key to transforming maternity care.

The partnership will continue for at least three years, executives said.