VHAN Presents Community Health Worker Program Results to Aetna ACO Group

Earlier this year, VHAN staff gave a presentation on VHAN’s Community Health Worker (CHW) pilot during Aetna’s quarterly Provider Clinical Transformation Webinar Series. The pilot, launched in 2019, aimed to improve access to care and resources for obstetric patients at Gallatin Women’s OBGYN Center (GWC) in Gallatin, Tennessee, which has a large prenatal patient population with approximately 350 babies born annually. Many mothers experience a lack of support and education related to pregnancy, birth and postpartum care, which leads to an increased risk for unhealthy pregnancies and poor birth outcomes.

The CHW pilot was designed to help with resource referrals and interventions for patients who need assistance with access to health care, physical and behavioral health support, and social determinants such as homelessness, food insecurity and unemployment. During the Aetna presentation, VHAN shared some initial results of the pilot:

  • Missed prenatal appointments improved significantly with just 24 in 2021, compared to 73 in 2020 and 70 in 2019. 
  • CHW intervention contributes to the success of moms breastfeeding by offering referrals and educational resources for moms. 54% of patients said they initially thought they wanted to breastfeed, and data shows that 52% of patients ended up breastfeeding. 
  • Interaction with a CHW resulted in a 90% increase in Pre-Natal Edinburgh Screenings. In 2021, GWC had a 100% success rate of delivering the Pre-Natal Edinburgh Screening to all eligible patients, thanks to collaboration between the CHW and clinical team. 
  • Patient interaction with a CHW has resulted in an 7% decrease in ED Utilization from November 2019 to November 2021.

Although the CHW already shows promising results, staff members at VHAN and GWC will continue to refine and improve the program. Program organizers will begin to collect patient satisfaction data and will further define and study the impact of the CHW program on ED utilization. They also plan to grow the number of community resources available to patients and will continue to collaborate with GWC clinical staff as well as the community hospital. As more results become available and the program continues to evolve, we will share updates on VHAN.com and in the VHAN newsletter. 

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