Alternative Payment Models for CenteringPregnancy® Allow Federally Qualified Health Centers to Shift to Value Based Care

New White Paper Offers Payment Strategies for Evidence-based Group Prenatal Care

Boston, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES

Boston, Aug. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) today released a white paper, Payment Models to Support Sustainability of CenteringPregnancy in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)”,  which examines alternative payment methodologies (APMs) to support FQHCs enhance value in maternal healthcare while addressing health disparities. Independently prepared by Health Management Associates, the white paper outlines revenue streams and strategies within and outside the current FQHC Prospective Payment System (PPS).  APMs for CenteringPregnancy can be used by states to expand access to quality prenatal care to vulnerable populations that are impacted by socioeconomic and health inequities. 

An evidence-based nationally recognized model of group prenatal care, CenteringPregnancy has shown to improve a wide range of birth outcomes including lowering risk of preterm births by 33-47%, reducing low birth weights and increasing breastfeeding rates. Research also shows it nearly eliminates the disparities in preterm birth rates between Black and White birthing individuals. 

A billable healthcare visit, CenteringPregnancy brings birthing persons with similar due dates out of the exam room and into a group setting and follows the nationally recommended schedule of ten prenatal visits. Each two-hour visit includes ample time for health assessment, interactive learning and community building. Patients receive high quality of care and as part of an ongoing group, form a supportive community where they develop skills and confidence to take control of the health of their children and themselves.

As the U.S. health system explores strategies to improve quality and lower costs through value-based care and payment, it is critically important that FQHCs on the front lines of public health are not left behind. The adoption of payment models to incentivize group prenatal care by state Medicaid agencies has been growing in recent years, with additional interest as funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) flow into states. However, most states have not taken the steps to ensure that FQHCs are able to participate in such models.   

“FQHCs are among the most innovative and patient-centric healthcare settings in the country.  Many FQHCs recognize that Centering offers the opportunity to provide transformative care that aligns well with their goals -- to better health outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and flatten racial disparities in the populations they serve,” said Angie Truesdale, Chief Executive Officer of CHI. “With the release of this new resource, we are excited to work with state governments, primary care associations and FQHCs to build out new policy and billing capabilities that support care delivery reform. Together we can have a profound impact on health outcomes and increase the chances each family has to thrive.” 

With 1,385 FQHCs that serve nearly 30 million people whose patients are disproportionately women (58.67%), low-income, uninsured and racial and ethnic minority Americans (62.99%), there is an opportunity for FQHCs to benefit from the impact that unique models of care like CenteringPregnancy can have on improving outcomes.  

 CHI’s new white paper provides a variety of strategies that offer FQHCs opportunity for incentive payments for improved patient outcomes. Among them, rebasing of the prospective payment rate holds promise to compensate FQHCs more accurately for the services and value provided by Centering. Several other, broader approaches for supporting group prenatal care, including potential inclusion of Centering in a shared savings, or global capitation payment for maternity care, are also discussed in the paper. 

 68% of current Centering sites are categorized as FQHCs or look alikes. Read the complete white paper here


About Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI):CHI is a national non-profit organization, based in Boston, MA, with a mission to improve health, transform care and disrupt inequitable systems through the Centering model of group care. With over two decades of experience as the go-to resource for group healthcare, CHI has pioneered and sustained the evidence-based Centering model that combines health assessment, interactive learning and community building to help support positive health behaviors and drive better health outcomes. CenteringPregnancy® and CenteringParenting® provide the highest quality of care to families from pregnancy through age two of the child. The CenteringHealthcare® model of care is being extended to many different health conditions including groups for asthma, diabetes, opioid recovery, cancer survivors, chronic pain and other patient populations. Centering is currently offered at nearly 600 healthcare practice sites serving 60,000 families nationwide. Visit for more information.


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