Case Study

The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio

The Lucas County Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes is a community partnership with the goal of improving birth outcomes by increasing access and reducing barriers to prenatal care for vulnerable and at-risk women. The Initiative ultimately aims to reduce the incidence of preterm and low birth weight babies in Toledo, Ohio.

What they did.

The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio (HCNO) worked with Drs. Mark and Sarah Redding to establish a Pathways Community HUB in Toledo in 2007. The Community HUB served as the coordination center for the Initiative. Those at risk were identified, connected to care, and their outcomes measured.

Today, the Community HUB uses the Pregnancy, Medical Referral and Social Service Referral Pathways. HCNO has contracted with two Managed Care Plans – Paramount and the Buckeye Community Health Plan – to gain funding for Pathway completion.

Six agencies are currently participating in enrolling at-risk pregnant women in this program. The participating agencies are: Mercy, Neighborhood Health Association, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, Promedica Toledo Hospital, the East Toledo Family Center, and the Providence Center.

The Lucas County Initiative to Improve Birth Outcomes has achieved wide renown and recognition for its innovative and collaborative strategies to address health disparities in birth outcomes. The Initiative is a founding member of the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Community Care Coordination Learning Network Core Team, and it is prominently highlighted in a Community HUB manual released by AHRQ in the Fall of 2010.

In addition, the Initiative has been featured on local television stations and chronicled through The Toledo Blade. The Initiative was also one of the sixteen programs selected out of a pool of 160 to present its program’s details at the National Catholic Health Association conference in June 2010, and was also featured in their print publication.

Did it work?

The Initiative’s results have been nothing less than outstanding. It has achieved significant reductions in the incidence of low birth weight and has served many vulnerable and at-risk women who might not have otherwise received proper care.

  • The incidence of low birth weight rate has declined from 15.1% initially to 6.7% in 2011.
  • Even more impressive is the fact that some of the zip codes served in this large city had previously had low birth weight rates as high as 20 percent.
  • In addition, the Community HUB identified and served more than 1,215 at-risk pregnant women since 2007.
  • Sustainability has been achieved by transitioning from grant funding to Medicaid managed care contracts for outcomes.

Contact CCS today to start building a comprehensive, coordinated, economically sustainable Pathways Community HUB that suits your  region’s specific needs.


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Akron, Ohio 44308
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