Since the fall of 2015, Harbage Consulting has been working with the Baltimore City Health Department and the community organization Baltimore’s Promise in an effort to identify opportunities under Medicaid to sustain and improve a city-wide comprehensive maternal and infant health initiative to reduce infant mortality, reduce pre-term births, and decrease related health disparities. The B’More for Healthy Babies (BHB) initiative provides medical and social service referrals and care coordination for at-risk low-income pregnant women, new mothers and their children.
Building on decades of experience focusing on and promoting children’s health issues, Harbage Consulting provides policy analysis, stakeholder engagement, and strategic advice for this project including:
- Meeting with a wide range of stakeholders to identify strengths, challenges and opportunities to sustain and improve the initiative;
- Identifying opportunities and statutory/regulatory pathways for connecting the services provided under B’More for Healthy Babies to federal Medicaid funding;
- Providing Medicaid policy and strategic advice to Health Department, foundation and community leaders;
- Preparing presentations for BHB Steering Committee and Board meetings;
- Serving as a liaison between the Baltimore City Health Department and the Maryland Medicaid Agency; and
- Developing programmatic, administrative, and financial recommendations for sustaining and improving the initiative and operationalizing the policy changes.
As a result of Harbage Consulting’s recommendations, the Maryland Medicaid Agency has proposed to create a pilot program to provide Medicaid funding for home visiting services for pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants under the state’s Medicaid section 1115 waiver. Harbage Consulting is continuing to work with the Health Department to prepare for the Pilot and to implement policy and operational changes designed to sustain the BHB initiative in the long-term.