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Infant Mortality Project Phase 1


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) saw a need to reduce infant mortality rates across the state of Ohio and knew they could use their data in conjunction with other agency data to drive strategic work to lower this number. ODH partnered with the InnovateOhio Platform (IOP) to expand and enhance predictive profiling models to determine those most at risk for infant mortality and design targeted interventions based on the data.

Agencies Involved

  • Department of Health (ODH)
  • Department of Medicaid (ODM)
  • Department of Job and Family Services (JFS)
  • Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS)

Outcomes and Action

The Infant Mortality Phase 1 study identified that more than 22,000 low-income mothers enrolled in Medicaid were not cross enrolled in WIC or SNAP benefits, which are proven to reduce the risk of infant mortality for enrollees. This study provided new insights about some of the most vulnerable citizens (at risk mothers and children) in Ohio.

The opportunity to potentially prevent infant deaths required immediate action. Below is a high-level overview of the plan, which required various workstreams to happen in two phases, Manual Consent and Upfront Consent, to ensure ongoing cross-enrollment in these important programs.

  • Phase 1 – Manual consent
    • Business workstream – determine scoping, approaches and other critical processes
    • Tech workstream – develop the data and algorithms for matching cross-enrollees and share with agencies
    • Citizen engagement workstream – work for consent and reach out to identified matches
  • Phase 2 – Upfront consent
    • Process workstream – examines and determines legal ramifications and processes
    • Integration workstream – the plan to integrate consent into IOP and how to automate a targeted out reach to potential enrollees
  • Ongoing
    • Monitoring dashboards to determine effectiveness of cross enrollment
    • Matching algorithm optimization

A program intake journey map showed that while home visitation programs proved to be successful if mothers are referred and enrolled, many mothers referred to the program did not enroll. Through customer journey mapping, ODH is using analytics to understand what is working, what is not, and why. The data also demonstrated that the type of communication outreach used is key. Using this information, ODH is exploring new communication channels and methods to reach at-risk mothers and understand if these interventions will reach those in need.

The impact of this project has incredible reach and effects within our communities and for Ohioans. To see this impact, this project required key partnerships and technologies to work together. The partnership between the Departments of Medicaid, Jobs and Family Services, Health, and Mental Health and Addiction Services, paired with leveraging the InnovateOhio Platform, was required to make this project possible and successful. It was critical to remove the barriers to better serve Ohio’s at-risk mothers and effectively enroll them in life-saving programs.

How is the InnovateOhio Data and Analytics Platform adding value?

By leveraging the InnovateOhio Platform, ODH, partnering with three other agencies (Job and Family Services, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Medicaid), leveraged the platform to securely link more than 30 data sets to form a 360-view of the individual that allowed them to:

  • Determine indicators that are significantly tied to infant mortality—leading indicators of positive and negative outcomes;
  • Create models to predict characteristics of mothers most likely to benefit from interventions; and
  • Explore which state programs for mothers are most effective.

Through the analysis, visualization and capabilities of the IOP, the State is able to understand the current state, inform policy and drive evidence-based policy decisions and changes. Additionally, the State can continue to help mothers and children, as well as, continue to engage communities through the impactful WIC, TANF, and SNAP programs.

“The Ohio WIC Program is thrilled with the design and implementation of this project. We anxiously await rollout to begin sharing data in order to better coordinate with our other state and local agencies to identify additional potential enrollees for the WIC Program. We anticipate that this cross-coordinated effort will lead to increased awareness and participation in this critical program that assists the most vulnerable Ohioans.”
– Sean Keller, Interim Director, Ohio WIC Program