The increased demand for maternal health services has outpaced the ability of many public health systems to provide adequate, high quality and respectful care. Resources invested in public facilities often are without commensurate accountability mechanisms to empower communities. Engaging the private sector is critical for achieving reductions in maternal and newborn mortality because it fosters competition and improves the resilience of the health system overall.
Our tool is designed to improve quality care by: providing the financing to empower women with more choice in where to seek care, providing healthcare workers with e-decision support based on a country’s own clinical guidelines and patient data, and by tying prompt payment to quality measures. At the same time, it streamlines and automates the operational functions required in a health insurance scheme, like coding care and submitting a claim.
We think this approach will empower national and local authorities to overcome many of the key operational challenges for engaging the private sector in UHC. We believe that by re-imagining “why, what, when, how and by whom” data is captured, analyzed and used, we can reduce the financial barriers for poor women who want to access quality care from the private sector, without requiring payers and providers to invest in complex, time consuming and costly administrative systems.
As the prototype has already undergone extensive co-design, testing and refinement in Montserrado County, the pilot will be ready to proceed in mid-2018, pending financial support from donors and investors. The two-year pilot budget of USD $1.5 million would enroll approximately 850 pregnant women, providing them with access to quality care at an accredited facility throughout the maternal and newborn EOC.