Mar 12, 2020
NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that three of its acute care facilities will partner with 32BJ Health Fund, the health benefits arm of the largest union of property service workers in the United States, to provide high-quality and affordable maternity care to members and eligible dependents. This first-of-its-kind program aims to lower the rate of complications for members and make maternity care more affordable for those who participate in the plan. NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, Jacobi, and Metropolitan are three of only five hospitals in New York City to be selected to participate in the program. Selected through a competitive process based on the outstanding quality of care they provide to patients, NYC Health + Hospitals facilities will be the exclusive hospital providers in Queens and the Bronx, and one of only two hospitals in Manhattan. Under the terms of the partnership, the total out-of-pocket costs for prenatal care and delivery at the participating hospitals will be as little as $40 for all related medical care. Union members and their eligible dependents covered by the 32BJ Health Fund will be able to enroll in the 32BJ Maternity Program starting April 1, 2020.
“NYC Health + Hospitals’ comprehensive and high-quality maternal care, is second to none and we are proud that 32BJ Health Fund is recognizing the great work of our clinicians and their teams” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “Expectants parents often have a long list of concerns ranging from what they should and shouldn’t do, can they exercise, is coffee ever okay – but they should never have to worry about the quality of their prenatal care.”
“32BJ Health Fund is a real leader in improving the quality and value of health care for their members and we are honored to partner with them to welcome more of their members to enjoy our great services,” said Senior Vice President of Managed Care and Patient Growth Matthew Siegler. “Navigating the health care system can be challenging and NYC Health + Hospitals is looking forward to working with 32BJ Health Fund to provide parents-to-be with the healthcare support they need and deserve.”
“We’re excited to offer this new program, which we believe will transform the way purchasers and hospitals prioritize services for mothers,” said 32BJ Health Fund Director Sara Rothstein. “We’re partnering with hospitals, such as NYC Health + Hospitals, which have made a commitment to practices that lower the risk of harm for patients and keep services affordable and easy to navigate.”
32BJ SEIU union members and their eligible dependents covered by the 32BJ Health Fund will be able to enroll in the 32BJ Maternity Program starting April 1, 2020. The program will help them choose a provider for prenatal care and a high-quality hospital for labor and delivery, while keeping costs low. The program will also bring transparency to hard-to-find quality data that expectant parents would want to see when choosing a provider and hospital, and it will educate plan participants about key questions to ask their providers about the care they need.
The 32BJ Maternity Program aims to reduce the rates of harm to pregnant members. Plan participants in New York City and New Jersey had a C-section rate of 40 percent, an episiotomy rate of 25.6 percent, and a high rate of severe maternal morbidity, which refers to dangerous complications during labor and delivery like a heart attack or sepsis.
The total $40 out-of-pocket costs for pregnant patients who participate in the 32BJ Maternity Program is significantly less than the average cost of $4,500 for patients with employer-sponsored insurance spent on average in 2015, according to a recent research article published in Health Affairs.
As an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 32BJ is the largest union of property service workers in the US with more than 175,000 members. Members work primarily as cleaners, property maintenance workers, doormen, security officers, window cleaners, building engineers, and school and food service workers.
Participating hospitals were required to meet a host of criteria related to maternal care, such as being designated as at least a Level III Perinatal Center and meeting certain scores on the Leapfrog Maternity Survey.
NYC Health + Hospitals provides expert prenatal care, labor and delivery services, midwifery service, family planning, comprehensive gynecology, and primary care outpatient medical support for patients at every stage of life.
In 2018, the de Blasio Administration launched a comprehensive plan to reduce maternal deaths from childbirth among patients of color and improve overall maternal care in the City. The City’s $12.8 million investment over three years was put towards implicit bias training, data tracking, and expanding public education in partnership with community-based organizations and residents. In 2017, First Lady Chirlane McCray announced that all NYC Health + Hospitals locations citywide would provide maternal depression screenings for pregnant patients and new parents.