Medical issues happen every day, but not all require an emergency room. In fact, studies estimate that over a third of emergency department (ED) visits are unnecessary, leading to over $8.3 billion in additional costs for the industry. These visits leave already-overburdened providers to treat patients that could have gotten care in an outpatient setting or at home and contribute to longer wait times and poorer quality of care in hospitals around the country.

As the healthcare industry looks for ways to provide people with the highest quality of care possible while reducing the burden on in-person care, virtual care is often mentioned as a powerful solution. Maven’s recent study examined the impact of virtual care on ED admissions and in-person care utilization during pregnancy to better understand if virtual care and content could replace some in-person visits during pregnancy.

Pregnant people often visit the ED for non-urgent issues

Maven’s study looked at virtual care during pregnancy, as pregnant people contribute substantially to the volume of unnecessary ED visits. AJOG research found that 36% of women who went to the ED while pregnant didn’t need emergency care, but seeked it because they either lacked access to care from non-emergency providers or lacked the health literacy to address and evaluate their needs. 45% of women in the study went to the ED because they were concerned there was an emergency and they couldn’t get the answers they needed in a timely fashion from their doctor.  

Maven’s virtual care model reduces ED admissions & in-person visits

In our study, we examined the impacts of digital education and virtual visits through the Maven platform on self-reported avoidance of in-person care during pregnancy. We found that the use of Maven’s digital platform was associated with reduced in-person care utilization, as well as increased pregnancy knowledge. Over 5% of Maven users reported that Maven’s digital services helped them avoid in-person care, and the numbers were even higher for historically marginalized populations reporting in-person care avoidance:

  • 11% of Black users 
  • 7% of Hispanic or Latine users 
  • 6% of Asian users 
  • 6% of multiracial, American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian users

Those that reported avoiding in-person care also had positive views of other aspects of Maven’s digital care model. 83% of those users said that the digital service helped them understand warning signs and 66% said it helped them learn medically accurate information.

From this data, we can infer two key takeaways. First, digital platforms such as Maven can help reduce the burden on health systems by reducing the number of pregnant people who seek ED or in-person care for non-urgent reasons. This reduction can lead to significant cost savings for members, employers, and pregnant people. It can also improve member experience, as it can alleviate the burden of finding in-person care or minimize the number of people who have to experience the ED during pregnancy.

Second, content through platforms like Maven can provide users with the information and tools they need to recognize warning signs and avoid medical misinformation, further cementing their ability to recognize true emergencies during their pregnancies and seek medically-appropriate care.

Read the full study on JMIR

Explore how Maven can support your members

Maven’s unique care model drives reductions in ED and in-person visits, in addition to improvements in clinical outcomes and business ROI. Designed to care for members at every stage of their family journey, Maven’s platform offers:

  • Virtual, 24/7 access to specialty care: Through Maven, members have free, 24/7 access to providers in over 30 specialties and 120+ sub-specialties, including midwives, mental health providers, OB-GYNs, and more. These specialists can help address members’ issues from the comfort of their own home, only escalating to in-person medical care when necessary. 
  • Clinically-vetted resources and classes: Maven’s platform has an extensive library of content, designed to provide members with clinically-accurate information at every stage of their family journey. The content can help members better understand their own pregnancy and health, empowering them to recognize normal pregnancy symptoms and seek care when necessary. Members can also attend virtual group classes led by Maven healthcare experts to help them better understand their health and connect with peers on a similar path.
  • Steerage to in-person care: Because we live in members’ pockets, Maven healthcare experts and Care Advocates are uniquely positioned to identify risks throughout the pregnancy journey and quickly connect members to the appropriate level of in-person care when needed, helping them to avoid ED visits in non-emergent cases.

As your organization looks to improve virtual support for members, Maven is here to help. Schedule a demo with our team today to see how Maven supports families, reduces unnecessary in-person visits, and lowers costs.

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