From left: Yelitza Sanchez, of the Federico Trilla Hospital in Carolina, Roberto García from Triple S and Alma Seda, of the March of Dimes, offer details of the pilot program.
Triple-S announced a $35,000 investment to establish Prenatal Care Group, in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico’s Dr. Federico Trilla Hospital in Carolina and the March of Dimes.
The program is modeled after a Special Prenatal Care program that the March of Dimes established in Tennessee in 2016 and that has already been implemented in 25 states and jurisdictions.
The program has shown that group prenatal care can reduce preterm birth by more than 33% for participants of all races and ethnicities, improving maternal and child health.
“We examined the pilot study carried out in Tennessee, the result of which showed that the expectant mother was less likely to visit the Emergency unit during pregnancy, reflecting a direct relationship between the viability of the program and the mother’s health,” Roberto García, CEO of Triple-S Management said, discussing the evaluation process.
“As part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, we have a strong commitment to address and reduce disparities in women’s health care,” he said.
“This program has the objective of improving maternal and child health and complications during pregnancy with already proven results,” García added.
While the first center is being established at the Dr. Federico Trilla hospital, García urged other hospitals in Puerto Rico to evaluate the program to implement it in their facilities, committing to continue paying for the initiative.
“The model will be developed for two years, serving groups of eight to 12 pregnant women, for a maximum of 200 participants per year,” said Josiel Medina, director of the department of gynecology and obstetrics at the UPR Hospital.
He said the results of the program will let them know if this educational group practice will become the first step in changing the doctor-patient relationship of the obstetrician-gynecologist with their pregnant patient.
The Hospital UPR Dr. Federico Trilla receives 8,500 hospitalizations a year and 4,400 visits to the OB/GYN clinic. In 2021, the hospital registered 467 deliveries, a figure very similar to the previous year.