WellCare of Nebraska’s SMS program delivers childcare education to new mothers

By Dave Muoio
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WellCare Health Plans’ Nebraska subsidiary announced today that it will be launching an SMS-based newborn and postpartum care resource program for members who are new mothers. Developed through a partnership with patient engagement and marketing firm GoMo Health, the “Baby’s First” program is designed to directly provide new mothers with the answers to common childcare questions as they arise.

"Many new parents are overwhelmed due to all the changes a new baby brings, which can lead to questions regarding a baby's health like 'Is this normal?' or 'What do I do?'" Dr. Stephen Lazoritz, medical director at WellCare of Nebraska, said in a statement. "This program will provide our members as well as the community answers to help give their babies the best possible start in life and to support good health.”

The free program is available to new mothers from the baby's birth to 15 months postpartum. After signing up through their phone, the mothers will receive one to six text messages weekly. Alongside vaccination and wellness visit reminders, these will include links to videos, questionnaires, and other interactive resources focused on child development and daily care. More specifically, the resources will cover topics such as breastfeeding, home safety, nutrition, developmental milestones, and other relevant concerns that come with a new child.

"For the 'Baby's First' program, GoMo Health worked closely with the WellCare team to develop a state-of-the-art interactive program delivered via our Personal Concierge, integrated with the most up-to-date post-partum educational content for new parents," Alan Stern, vice president of health care solutions at GoMo Health, said in a statement. "This program will provide timely guidance for new parents while helping WellCare to build long-term relationships statewide."
 
While WellCare of Nebraska claims to be the state’s first Medicaid plan to offer such a program, but it isn’t the only system to roll out mobile-based early parenthood resources for its members. In September, Care1st Health Plan Arizona launched a pilot program offering Pacify Health’s live video chat app to new and soon-to-be mothers enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program. Pacify’s platform boasts a collection of lactation consultants, dietitians, and other pregnancy management specialists available on call at any time of the day or night. On a broader scale, the CDC recently released its own free educational app to help new parents track their child’s development.