AmeriHealth Caritas Post-Partum Focus Groups

The public health issue: Pregnancy related maternal health care concerns do not end at delivery. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women receive a follow up visit four to six weeks after delivery. However, many women do not attend these visits, and providers are therefore unable to assess their physical and emotional health following pregnancy. The AmeriHealth Caritas Medicaid Managed Care organization contracted with us to identify barriers to plan members’ adherence with post-partum visits, and to gather feedback about AmeriHealth’s marketing and communication materials aimed at their post-partum members.

Our contribution to the client: The Research & Evaluation Group conducted a series of focus groups with new mothers, both those who attended and those who did not attend their post-partum visit, to gather information on their post-partum experiences. The assessment revealed needs for mental health screening and support for new mothers, regular electronic communication from their insurance provider (including texting for appointment reminders), and a home visit option for women to receive post-partum medical care at home. Lack of childcare and transportation to appointments were considered barriers to compliance, and emotional and advocacy support from partners, doulas, and supportive community groups were determined as needs of the new mothers. The team provided AmeriHealth with a report of findings and recommendations to guide their implementation of improvements.