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Case Studies

  • Case Study 1
  • Case Study 2
  • Case Study 3
  • Case Study 4

Remote Prenatal Screening Via Telemedicine
Saves Patient Time and Money

In June, a presenting private practice OB/GYN site referred a patient (M.E.) to Women’s Telehealth for a prenatal Quad Screen test that came back with a 1:56 risk for Trisomy 18 chromosome abnormality. In a prior pregnancy, the patient had a positive test for Downs Syndrome predelivery (which the baby ultimately did not have). Needless to say, this patient was worried and nervous.

Prior to her test results coming back, the patient had an ultrasound at the local hospital which did not have a maternal-fetal medicine physician. The images were inconclusive. Women’s Telehealth was able to offer the patient “live” ultrasound scan and a consult via telemedicine directly from her OB/GYN’s office. Her alternative was to drive more than one hour away for an in-person consult in Albany, GA. As the patient had decided not to have an amnio and would continue to have frequent U/S to monitor the baby’s growth in utero, her in-person alternative would have resulted in up to five more roundtrips.

The patient opted for telemedicine. The ultrasound images provided reassurance, her concerns were allayed, and she was still able to talk to and create an instant plan of action which her local OB/GYN could carry out.

Over the course of her pregnancy, she saved an estimated $500 in gas money, $2,000 in OOP visit expense, and 28 hours of her time, not including the time and expense her family may have had providing for babysitters, a spouse to miss work, etc.

Women’s Telehealth capabilities enabled the patient to be managed safely, with less expense, and with direct access to the physician locally. Women’s Telehealth delivered progressive healthcare with the right specialist, at the right time, for the right patient, and with a great outcome.

Georgia Partnership Uses Telemedicine and
Centering Pregnancy Model to Significantly Decrease
Preterm Labor Birth Rate in High Risk Areas

Southwest Health District’s CenteringPregnancy® program and Women’s Telehealth in Atlanta have teamed up to deliver effective, efficient, high-quality access to prenatal care that significantly improves health outcomes among African Americans and Hispanics in an underserved corner of Georgia. Following the launch of the first-of-its-kind partnership between group prenatal care and maternal-fetal telemedicine, the percentage of pre-term deliveries and low birth-weight babies continues to be well below baseline rates in target populations.

The model is transferable to other areas that lack sufficient OB providers, and can greatly enhance care by providing maternal fetal monitoring and consulting to patients who otherwise lack access to such special services, say the principals behind the partnership. Both principals – Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant, an obstetrician, and Women’s Telehealth founder Dr. Anne Patterson, a maternal fetal medicine specialists – using alternative practice models to improve women’s access to prenatal care.

Southwest Health District’s program is the first Centering program in the nation to include Telemedicine, said Program Manager VaLenia Milling. It is also the first accredited Public Health-based Centering program in Georgia. The district received a March of Dimes grant to implement the Centering program in 2009 to combat a glaring healthcare disparity gap and access to healthcare issues in the predominantly rural 14-county Southwest Health District. The program remains funded through grant sources today.

The Centering program initially focused on low-income African-American birth outcomes in Dougherty County, Milling said. In 2011, it expanded into Colquitt County’s Ellenton Clinic, where began addressing prenatal care needs of often undocumented low-income Hispanic farm worker women.

” CenteringPregnancy® is a national model of group prenatal care with groups of women whose due dates are in the same month,” Milling said. “The groups meet for individual assessments and facilitated discussions in nine two-hour sessions monthly until 28 weeks gestation, then every two weeks until 36 weeks gestation. Afterwards we partner with private practices who continue to provide care through delivery.”

When the group “circles up” for their monthly group meeting, Dr. Patterson periodically participates on-camera from her office in Atlanta. “We start with discussing antenatal testing,” she said. “On subsequent visits, we go we educate patients on fetal growth, gestational diabetes and potential complications such as hypertension and preterm labor. If they have no problems, then they only see me those times. But if they do develop a high risk problem requiring intervention, they already know me. They are comfortable having a consultation and I think this format promotes improved compliance also.”

The arrangement is much more efficient and effective for low-income patients who must make childcare or travel arrangements, or who lack convenient access to telephones, Milling said. “It also eliminates barriers of insurance status for the patients, so we are seeing them earlier,” added Dr. Grant. “There is also an ease of scheduling. Patients are consulting earlier and are more compliant.”

The public-private partnership serves the patients well. The baseline (2004-2008) African-American preterm birth rate for Southwest Health District is 18.2%. The Dougherty site (the county has an 86% African-American population) is 8.1%. Preterm birthrates in the Ellenton Clinic in Colquitt (100% Hispanic population served) reflect similar promise. Centering rates of 6.7% there compare favorably to the baseline Hispanic district rate of 12.1%.

“The success of this pilot is evidence the model can be replicated in other areas with high-risk populations,” Dr. Patterson said.

“The program’s efforts are part of an overarching initiative using telemedicine to reach Georgia’s 159 counties, with hopes of bringing specialized care to underserved areas of Georgia, saving time and money for patients, providers and public health staff,” says Suleima Salgado, director of Telehealth and Telemedicine for the Georgia Department of Public Health.


Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome:
A Life-Saving Case Study

Women’s Telehealth was referred a patient pregnant with twins who lived 2 hours away from any high-risk OB specialists. The ultrasound revealed that one twin was growing and the other was not due to an abnormal vessel defect. Left untreated, the survival rate for both twins was <15%. However, the local OB office had a connection to Women’s Telehealth and the patient was immediately evaluated.

The diagnosis of twin to twin transfusion was confirmed. The blood vessel was identified, and arrangements were made for in-utero surgery to correct the problem a few days from the cut-off time period. The patient was sent home and monitored for the duration of her pregnancy via MFM telemedicine live scanning weekly until delivery.

The results were:

  • Early identification/treatment of an often-fatal condition
  • 8 MFM telemedicine visits
  • Patient monitored locally for growth, anatomy, cervical length and blood flow
  • Savings of >2,720 miles and >40 hours of travel
  • Estimated patient out of pocket savings of >$12,000
  • DELIVERY OF TWO HEALTHY BABY GIRLS!


In this case, a maternal fetal telemedicine program resulted in early intervention and treatment, convenient access, cost savings, and life savings!

Remote Prenatal Screening Via Telemedicine
Saves Patient Time and Money

In June, a presenting private practice OB/GYN site referred a patient (M.E.) to Women’s Telehealth for a prenatal Quad Screen test that came back with a 1:56 risk for Trisomy 18 chromosome abnormality. In a prior pregnancy, the patient had a positive test for Downs Syndrome predelivery (which the baby ultimately did not have). Needless to say, this patient was worried and nervous.

Prior to her test results coming back, the patient had an ultrasound at the local hospital which did not have a maternal-fetal medicine physician. The images were inconclusive. Women’s Telehealth was able to offer the patient “live” ultrasound scan and a consult via telemedicine directly from her OB/GYN’s office. Her alternative was to drive more than one hour away for an in-person consult in Albany, GA. As the patient had decided not to have an amnio and would continue to have frequent U/S to monitor the baby’s growth in utero, her in-person alternative would have resulted in up to five more roundtrips.

The patient opted for telemedicine. The ultrasound images provided reassurance, her concerns were allayed, and she was still able to talk to and create an instant plan of action which her local OB/GYN could carry out.

Over the course of her pregnancy, she saved an estimated $500 in gas money, $2,000 in OOP visit expense, and 28 hours of her time, not including the time and expense her family may have had providing for babysitters, a spouse to miss work, etc.

Women’s Telehealth capabilities enabled the patient to be managed safely, with less expense, and with direct access to the physician locally. Women’s Telehealth delivered progressive healthcare with the right specialist, at the right time, for the right patient, and with a great outcome.