Catalyst for Payment Reform

Dr. C.J. Stimson on Improving Maternity Care for Nashville’s Public Schools through Bundled Payment

Dr. C.J. Stimson on Improving Maternity Care for Nashville’s Public Schools through Bundled Payment

Suzanne Delbanco catches up with CJ Stimson, MD, JD, the Senior Vice President of Value Transformation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), to discuss Vanderbilt’s direct contract bundled payment arrangement for maternity care with Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). The MyMaternityHealth bundle offers MNPS employees a comprehensive set of maternity services through VUMC – including prenatal visits, labs, imaging, labor & delivery, and 12 weeks of postpartum care for both mother and infant, as well as childbirth and lactation classes – at one “bundled” price. This call serves as follow-up to the webinar hosted by CPR in March 2021, where Dr. Stimson and David Hines of MNPS shared their insights one year after the program’s implementation.

Since the program launched at the beginning of 2020, the Metro Nashville Public Schools’ direct contract has incurred $3,500 savings per episode and seen a 25% reduction in cesarean deliveries, along with a high Net Promoter Score of 88. On this call, CJ shares what may drive employers to seek out alternative payment models like this direct contract bundled payment arrangement.  He also explains why MNPS and VUMC decided to launch the program with maternity care, instead of other medical arenas more commonly associated with bundled payment. Additionally, Suzanne and CJ discuss whether the program may pressure key players in the Nashville health care industry to improve their value-based offerings as the number and scope of bundles offered by VUMC begins to expand.  Finally, they address what the future may hold for direct contract bundled payment models, and the challenges faced when trying to expand this model across the health care industry.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Metro Nashville Public Schools are expanding the services covered in their contracted bundled arrangements in 2021. To learn more, visit

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