Reaching Moms-to-be When it Matters Most

Community Health Choice, Inc. (Community) is a non-profit managed care organization (MCO) based in Houston that serves 400,000 members across Southeast Texas—many of whom are Medicaid-eligible pregnant women and their newborn children who face challenges related to social determinants of health. 

In a given year, Community covers approximately 25,000 Medicaid births. Like most Medicaid plans, Community knows that infants born to mothers who received no prenatal care are 3x more likely to have a low birth weight and 5x more likely to die than children born to mothers who received prenatal care. 

Recognizing the importance of prenatal, postpartum, and well-child visits to the health of mothers and their babies, as well as a health plan’s bottom line, Community wanted to motivate more moms to complete those all-important healthcare activities. 

“Because there’s so much at risk with those measures, we wanted to make absolutely sure we were reaching every mom-to-be we possibly could,” said Pam Hellstrom, Chief Compliance and Quality Officer at Community Health Choice.


A Digital-First Approach Designed for Maximum Impact

Icario designed a member engagement and incentive program that Community has offered to more than 20,000 moms and expectant mothers as the Community Rewards Program. The primary objective was to motivate them to enroll and complete their prenatal, postpartum, and well-child healthcare activities within the HEDIS-specified time frames. 

With this goal in mind, Icario leveraged its deep experience in consumer marketing, behavioral science and predictive analytics to design a member engagement solution that incorporated the following: 

  • Digital channels that deploy quickly, such as email, interactive voice, and SMS text to reach members early in their pregnancy
  • Personalized communications that explain why each recommended activity is important for the health of mom and her baby
  • Meaningful rewards that can be redeemed instantly, such as gift cards that help cover important expenses like groceries and diapers


The Impact of a Personalized, Member-Focused Engagement Strategy

The program launched in mid-2018 and has been delivering impressive results ever since. The percentage of eligible members who enrolled in the program exceeded Community’s goals by 20%. 

Of the eight available healthcare activities, prenatal and postpartum care have had the highest completion and reward redemption rates. 

So far, nearly 35% of program participants, or 2,035 moms-to-be, have completed their early prenatal care in the first trimester or within 42 days of enrollment in the plan.

And 36% of program participants, or 1,313 new moms, completed their postpartum care on or between 21 and 56 days after delivery.


completed early prenatal care in the first trimester or within 42 days of enrollment


completed postpartum care on or between 21-56 days after delivery


more health actions taken per infant by women engaged in Icario programs

Key Takeaways

The Value of a Collaborative Partnership

When the challenges that come with pregnancy are compounded by factors such as financial instability, food insecurity, language barriers and more, adequate prenatal and postpartum care can easily be compromised. Community has seen this first-hand and is working with Icario to strategically overcome the obstacles that stand between mothers, their children, and better health.