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Mosquera, Taliaferro, Benson Bill Establishing Perinatal Episode of Care Pilot Program in Medicaid Becomes Law

Effort Part of State’s Ongoing Strategy to Improve Perinatal Health Outcomes

(TRENTON) – As part of New Jersey’s solution driven strategy to improve maternal health outcomes, a bill to establish a perinatal episode of care pilot program in Medicaid was signed into law today by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The law (A-4932) is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester), Adam Taliaferro (D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). It mandates the three-year perinatal episode of care pilot program in Medicaid to be developed by a steering committee established by the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in the Department of Human Services.  The legislators issued the following joint statement following the signing:

“Modeled after similar programs, such as the successful one in Tennessee, this pilot will foster collaboration between Medicaid managed organizations, federally qualified health centers and maternity healthcare providers for the common goal of improving perinatal health outcomes and decreasing costs.
“There will be, however, a greater level of accountability for the cost of care that they deliver to their patients. While these healthcare providers will have the same administrative and financial relationship with payers, they will receive higher payments if they meet or exceed certain benchmarks for quality.

“This pilot is an innovative approach using value-based payments, one of the first in New Jersey. It incentivizes Medicaid providers to raise the bar for providing better care–a real win for Medicaid patients.” 

As part of the law, the steering committee must convene no later than July 1, 2019, and the pilot must begin by January 1, 2021 unless the committee recommends a later date.