Innovative financing approach helps Nurse-Family Partnership serve more families.

Nurse-Family Partnership has a nearly 40-year history of improving the health, safety and well-being of first-time mothers and their children born into poverty. However, despite clear evidence to support the program, it reaches only 2 to 3 percent of eligible families.

Pay for Success, a performance-based contract between investors, government agencies and providers, offers a new strategy to expand Nurse-Family Partnership services. With Pay for Success, investors provide up-front funding to providers for services, and the government repays them if and when the provider’s performance meets or exceeds a set of outcome metrics agreed to by providers, investors and government in a contract.

Nurse-Family Partnership continues to explore Pay for Success opportunities to help more families in need, and was selected in competitive proposals to develop Pay for Success projects in three states – Michigan, New York and South Carolina. Feasibility work to determine whether Pay for Success is a good fit in a particular jurisdiction has been undertaken in Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey and San Francisco, California.

In 2016, Nurse-Family Partnership launched the nation’s first Pay for Success project to improve maternal and child health in South Carolina. This project will extend services to 3,200 Medicaid-eligible first-time moms and their children over a six-year period, which is the largest number of moms ever served in South Carolina.

Nurse-Family Partnership supports federal legislation to create incentives for directing scarce public resources toward effective programs. A bipartisan bill under consideration in Congress – the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act of 2016 – would allow the federal government to help states pay for successful outcomes in Pay for Success projects This would be an important avenue to expand services nationwide.