Doulas can increase access to care, lower costs and improve maternal health outcomes
April 20, 2023
MIAMI, FL — Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc., (Simply) today announced an expansion of its ongoing partnership with Indian River County Head Start (IRCHS) by offering $60,000 in scholarships to provide free training and certification for 30 doulas. Simply’s latest investment will help build a robust network of highly skilled doulas, expand maternal health services and improve health outcomes for expecting mothers and newborns.
“Simply is committed to developing innovative solutions that address the maternal health needs of the communities we serve,” said Holly Prince, President, Simply. “Our partnership with IRCHS will continue to help build strong communities that are united toward positive and lasting change so we can build a brighter, better future for families across Florida.”
Research from Elevance Health, the parent company of Simply, shows certified doulas have been effective at improving health outcomes for people who are pregnant and their babies. Data from several states that provide Medicaid coverage of doula care shows that Medicaid beneficiaries who used certified doulas during their pregnancies and deliveries had better outcomes compared to those who didn’t.
“IRCHS is thrilled to continue our partnership with Simply to train more doulas who can support moms across South Florida that need support,” said Andrea Berry, CEO of IRCHS. “These doulas play a critical role to ensure safer, more positive birth outcomes for pregnant women in vulnerable communities.”
Increasing the doula workforce will improve birth outcomes for women across Florida who would otherwise not have access to proper maternal care. IRCHS has reported experiencing a reduction in preterm birth, a decrease in cesarean sections and fewer babies born at a low birth weight among pregnant mothers utilizing the IRCHS doula program — compared to birth outcomes nationally.
According to a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rates among the world’s developed countries — demonstrating the importance of increasing access to maternal care in the United States.
By cultivating partnerships and investing in efforts that address critical priorities across the entire state, Simply has made a commitment to play a pivotal role in the health and wellbeing of all Floridians. This includes efforts around mental health, food insecurity, housing, human trafficking, disease management, secondary education, and more.
About Simply Healthcare Plans
Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. (“Simply”), is a Florida managed health care plan that serves Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members in the state of Florida. In addition, Simply, through a line of business called Clear Health Alliance, also serves Florida Medicaid members who are living with HIV/AIDS. Our goal is to provide healthcare and related services that are comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Each and every day, members of our team can be found in Florida communities, listening to our members, interacting with our health care providers and partnering with community-based organizations. Our goal is to ensure members and entire communities are empowered to become active participants in their health care and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Simply, visit www.simplyhealthcareplans.com.