Mary V. Mason, MD, MBA
Senior vice president and chief medical officer, Centene Corp.
Amy Poole-Yaeger, MD
Vice president of medical affairs, Centene Corp.
Cathie R. Krueger, RN, BSN
Manager of clinical policy, Centene Corp.
Kara M. House, MBA
Vice president of business process optimization, Centene Corp.
Brad Lucas, MD, MBA
Vice president of medical affairs, Centene Corp.


Objective. To evaluate whether providing 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) to high-risk pregnant women who have a history of preterm delivery in a Medicaid managed care population reduces the rate of recurrent preterm delivery and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions.

Study design. A 2004–2009 longitudinal review of birth outcomes in 193 singleton pregnant women with a history of spontaneous preterm delivery that were treated with 17P versus a control group.

Methodology. Intervention included offering 17P as a benefit to pregnant women who had a history of spontaneous preterm delivery and who were deemed to be appropriate candidates by their doctor. Members for this study were identified by claims review and obstetrical (OB) case managers in the health plans.

A process of early identification, using a variety of data sources, was established along with an educational program aimed at physicians, their office staff, and plan members in order to increase 17P utilization in appropriate candidates.

Results. Deliveries with a gestational age of less than 35 weeks decreased significantly from 41.67% in the control group to 26.42% in the 17P group when 17P was initiated by 28 weeks of gestation. The NICU admission rate decreased from 45% in the control group to 33.68% in this 17P group, and was nearly significant.

Conclusion. Offering 17P as a benefit does have a positive effect on reducing the rate of recurrent preterm delivery and rate of NICU admission in a managed Medicaid population. There was no decrease in effectiveness with delay in initiation of 17P as long as it was started by 28 weeks of gestation.

Key words: Managed Medicaid, preterm birth, 17P

Managed Care’s Top Ten Articles of 2016

There’s a lot more going on in health care than mergers (Aetna-Humana, Anthem-Cigna) creating huge players. Hundreds of insurers operate in 50 different states. Self-insured employers, ACA public exchanges, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid managed care plans crowd an increasingly complex market.

Major health care players are determined to make health information exchanges (HIEs) work. The push toward value-based payment alone almost guarantees that HIEs will be tweaked, poked, prodded, and overhauled until they deliver on their promise. The goal: straight talk from and among tech systems.

They bring a different mindset. They’re willing to work in teams and focus on the sort of evidence-based medicine that can guide health care’s transformation into a system based on value. One question: How well will this new generation of data-driven MDs deal with patients?

The surge of new MS treatments have been for the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. There’s hope for sufferers of a different form of MS. By homing in on CD20-positive B cells, ocrelizumab is able to knock them out and other aberrant B cells circulating in the bloodstream.

A flood of tests have insurers ramping up prior authorization and utilization review. Information overload is a problem. As doctors struggle to keep up, health plans need to get ahead of the development of the technology in order to successfully manage genetic testing appropriately.

Having the data is one thing. Knowing how to use it is another. Applying its computational power to the data, a company called RowdMap puts providers into high-, medium-, and low-value buckets compared with peers in their markets, using specific benchmarks to show why outliers differ from the norm.
Competition among manufacturers, industry consolidation, and capitalization on me-too drugs are cranking up generic and branded drug prices. This increase has compelled PBMs, health plan sponsors, and retail pharmacies to find novel ways to turn a profit, often at the expense of the consumer.
The development of recombinant DNA and other technologies has added a new dimension to care. These medications have revolutionized the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and many of the other 80 or so autoimmune diseases. But they can be budget busters and have a tricky side effect profile.

Shelley Slade
Vogel, Slade & Goldstein

Hub programs have emerged as a profitable new line of business in the sales and distribution side of the pharmaceutical industry that has got more than its fair share of wheeling and dealing. But they spell trouble if they spark collusion, threaten patients, or waste federal dollars.

More companies are self-insuring—and it’s not just large employers that are striking out on their own. The percentage of employers who fully self-insure increased by 44% in 1999 to 63% in 2015. Self-insurance may give employers more control over benefit packages, and stop-loss protects them against uncapped liability.