Prenatal app Babyscripts pushing further into Medicaid market with Aetna partnership

Babyscripts' platform allows providers to manage many pregnancies virtually, allowing doctors to detect risk more quickly and automate elements of care (Babyscripts)

Prenatal and postpartum mobile app Babyscripts is expanding its reach in the Medicaid market with a strategic partnership with Aetna's Medicaid managed care organization in Pennsylvania.

Washington, D.C.-based Babyscripts is a virtual care platform that connects expectant mothers with their doctors. Through its partnership with Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania, the company will deliver pregnancy care solutions to plan members at participating WellSpan Health sites.

The partnership will focus on increasing access to care via a new point-of-care model that allows low-risk pregnant patients to receive the benefits of remote monitoring and virtual care.

Founded in 2014, Babyscripts developed a clinically validated, virtual care platform to allow OBGYNs to deliver a new model of prenatal care. Using Internet-connected devices for remote monitoring, Babyscripts offers risk-specific experiences to allow providers to manage up to 90% of pregnancies virtually, allowing doctors to detect risk more quickly and automate elements of care, according to the company.

In the past two years, the digital health company has ramped up its partnerships with health systems, OBGYN practices, and health plans, including Cone Health, Atrium Health, Penn Medicine, WellSpan Health, and Axia Women’s Health. Babyscripts now manages more than 150,000 pregnancies across 20 states.

RELATED: Telemonitoring can reduce medical appointments for low-risk pregnancies

Babyscripts has raised $14 million in funding to date, including its latest $6 million funding round led by healthcare technology company Philips.

In June 2018, the startup acquired pregnancy app iBirth for an undisclosed amount and integrated those features into its platform to expand the company's focus to postpartum care.

The partnership with Aetna comes on the heels of Babyscripts' collaboration with AmeriHealth Caritas DC, the largest managed care organization in Washington DC, which marked a shift from the company's focus on the commercial market.

”The new model for managing pregnancy is unique because it is delivered at the point of care, but also includes the payer into the equation, something that the industry hasn’t been done before,”Juan Pablo Segura, co-founder and president of Babyscripts, said in a statement. “We know that collaboration between stakeholders and strategic ecosystems is key to improving outcomes, and this partnership with Aetna is a huge step on the path to eliminating access issues for vulnerable populations.”

The Babyscripts platform can support Aetna’s Medicaid members throughout their pregnancy, including care navigation to identify social determinants of health, and a population health tool that will enable proactive management of member health through insights on the clinical history of unique patient populations.

RELATED: Mobile prenatal care via apps can complement in-person visits: study

One feature of the platform is a Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure cuff that lets doctors remotely monitor pregnant patients for high-risk conditions such as high blood pressure and postpartum depression. 

For example, a Pennsylvania patient named Megan was directed to go to the hospital after a trigger on the cuff sent an alert to her provider, according to the company.

At the hospital, Megan was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia and had a C-section that day. Megan credits the Babyscripts tool for saving both her life and her newborn daughter's life. 

“This partnership with Babyscripts is a wonderful opportunity for women and providers to work together to support the pregnancy journey," Jason Rottman, CEO of Aetna Better Health, said in a statement.

A recent study published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth found that mobile prenatal care visits can be just as effective as in-person provider visits and showed the potential for digital health to help reduce in-person visits to a provider while maintaining patient and provider satisfaction.