HealthDay News — A multimodal prenatal health care model that combines in-office and telemedicine visits is safe and associated with similar maternal and newborn outcomes as exclusive in-office visits, according to a study published online in JAMA Network Open.

Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues evaluated whether prenatal health care delivered by a multimodal model of in-office and telemedicine visits during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in similar maternal and newborn health outcomes to prepandemic in-office health care.

The researchers found that among 151,464 individuals who delivered a live birth or stillbirth, the mean number of total prenatal visits was similar among those who were unexposed (birth delivery: July 1, 2018, to February 29, 2020), partially exposed (birth delivery: March 1, 2020, to December 5, 2020), and fully exposed (birth delivery: December 6, 2020, to Oct. 31, 2021) to the multimodal prenatal health care model. Across the time periods, neonatal intensive care unit admissions were 9.2%, 8.3%, and 8.6%, respectively. There were no clinically relevant changes observed over time in the risk for preeclampsia and eclampsia, severe maternal morbidity, cesarean delivery, preterm birth, or secondary outcomes.

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“These findings suggest that a multimodal prenatal health care model combining in-office and telemedicine visits performed adequately compared with in-office only prenatal health care, supporting its continued use after the pandemic,” the authors write.

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