January 5, 2023

The Value of Care Services for Maternal Health

Every morning Cimi Neal, a Lucina care services provider embedded at an OB/Gyn’s office, reviews about 15 patient electronic medical records for at-risk, Medicaid pregnant moms

She schedules appointments with each mom and asks important questions. And then, she listens closely, looking for possible signs of domestic abuse, food insecurity, and housing challenges.

“I take a person-centered approach. I am always my authentic self. I make sure they know I am here to help. I never assume anything and ask open-ended questions,” explains Cimi. “I am also always actively listening. Even if they don’t have a scheduled meeting, I pop in and let them know I’m here for anything. You must build rapport.”

What Do Lucina’s Care Services Provide?

For each trimester, Cimi provides pertinent information.

Here’s a breakdown on what a care services coordinator discusses during each trimester:

First Trimester:

  • Explains Lucina’s Care Services
  • Discusses expanded health plan benefits
  • Provides a list of local urgent care centers staffed with OB/Gyns in case of an emergency
  • Explains home nurse programs
  • Inquires about her at-home support system

Second Trimester:

  • Checks in again about her at-home support and home environment
  • Discusses a labor and delivery tour
  • Helps the patient identify a pediatrician
  • Explains how to put her baby on a health plan
  • Provides information about childbirth and CPR classes

Third Trimester

  • Checks in again about at-home support and her home environment
  • Discusses the importance of ‘counting the kicks’ so the patient knows about any changes in movement during the 3rd Trimester
  • Helps to identify a primary care physician & confirms she has chosen a pediatrician

Fourth Trimester (yes, there is such a thing, and it’s vital to mom and baby’s health!)

  • Discuss birthing experience
  • Ask how mom and baby are adjusting at home
  • Provide information on postpartum symptoms
  • Make sure mom is connected to a Primary Care Provider

How are Lucina’s Care Services Making an Impact?

During all visits, if Cimi identifies any problems or obstacles, she provides specific referrals, and in many cases, she reaches out to the appropriate resources that day.

In just the short time that Lucina launched its first care services program, Cimi has made huge strides in helping at-risk moms. “I have helped a mom who was homeless clear some big hurdles so she could obtain proper housing and other needed benefits. I have connected several moms in need with a program that provides breast pumps and baby supplies like clothing, cribs, car seats. I was also able to assist a mom out of a domestic violence situation.”

Cimi notes that the providers see the tremendous value of Lucina’s care services and say they can now take a more ‘patient-centered’ approach and offer more empathy because they understand each mom’s personal circumstances.

And perhaps Cimi is making a significant impact because she can empathize with these women. She was once a young, single mom and says she only wishes she had a program like Lucina’s when she was pregnant.

For more information about Lucina’s Care Services program, click here.