Health Tech, Payers

Virginia Medicaid Taps Aeroflow Health for Lactation Services

Virginia Medicaid beneficiaries now have access to Aeroflow Health’s breast pumps and lactation consultants.

Aeroflow Health, a health tech company, has expanded its lactation consultation services to Virginia Medicaid, it announced Thursday.

Asheville, North Carolina-based Aeroflow Health was founded in 2001 and offers an array of medical devices covered by insurance. The company has four lines: Aeroflow Breastpumps, Aeroflow Diabetes, Aeroflow Sleep and Aeroflow Urology. In addition to medical devices, it provides education and consultations. The company has partnerships with more than 1,000 insurance plans.

Through Aeroflow’s partnership with Virginia Medicaid and its managed care organizations, new mothers can access breast pumps from Aeroflow. They will also be connected to Aeroflow’s network of lactation consultants. Members can receive one-on-one lactation consultations and online courses that cover topics like breastfeeding, pumping and storing breastmilk.

“This partnership between Aeroflow Health and Virginia Medicaid broadens access to lactation services from Aeroflow Breastpumps for new and expecting mothers,” Amanda Minimi, director of corporate development at Aeroflow Health, told MedCity News. “This partnership will connect new mothers to a robust network of lactation consultants and other maternal health services at little to no cost to them.”

Virginia Medicaid covers a third of births in the state, representing more than 37,000 births, according to the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Aeroflow Health’s partnership with Virginia Medicaid comes after the company partnered with Aetna Better Health Virginia, Molina Healthcare Virginia and Sentara Health of Virginia.

“We’re contracted with all Medicaid plans and most Managed Care Organizations, so we can be a reliable one-stop shop for people looking for medical products and services,” Minimi said. “This coverage is really important because it means we can help health plans expand their reach and support doctors in finding the right places to refer their patients. We’re here to make healthcare easier to access and navigate. And it’s not just about big cities; we’re reaching out to remote areas too, places that might not have much healthcare available.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, states are mandated to cover breast pumps and consultation services for Medicaid expansion beneficiaries. However, there isn’t a federal requirement for covering breastfeeding services in non-expansion states. So far, 41 states have adopted Medicaid expansion (including Virginia) and 10 states have not. Minimi noted, however, that despite not all states expanding Medicaid, some Medicaid managed care plans are stepping up and providing coverage for breast pumps as an added benefit.

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Minimi added that she expects to see more adoption of lactation benefits and doula support in the future. In addition, there will likely be a higher focus on mental health.

“There’s a strong connection between breastfeeding success and mental health, so it’s crucial that we address it,” she said. “Moving forward, one area of opportunity lies in identifying situational stressors (and other social determinants of health factors) that contribute to mental health issues and finding solutions for them. Peer support from providers like lactation and doula professionals is vital in identifying and addressing these stressors effectively.”

Other companies that provide lactation support include Nest Collaborative, SimpliFed and Maven Clinic.

Photo: FatCamera, Getty Images