On Feb. 16, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Christian Soura, Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, state officials, and leaders from the private sector announced the nation's first Pay for Success project aimed at improving health outcomes for mothers and children living in poverty, and the first Pay for Success project of any type in the South.
The South Carolina Nurse-Family Partnership Pay for Success project will bring Nurse-Family Partnership's evidence-based program to an additional 3,200 first-time mothers and their babies enrolled across South Carolina over the next four years, a significant increase over the 1,200 families currently benefiting from the high-impact intervention.
The Institute for Child Success (ICS), with support from The Duke Endowment, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, was pleased to catalyze the development of this project through the convening of a statewide working group on Early Childhood Pay for Success in 2013 and by conducting an analysis of the feasibility of expanding Nurse-Family Partnership using Pay for Success financing. ICS congratulates Governor Haley, Director Soura, Nurse-Family Partnership, Social Finance US, and other partners for bringing this project to launch.
Commenting on the launch of the project ICS Executive Vice President Joe Waters said: "ICS has long believed that Pay for Success financing holds great potential to improve outcomes for South Carolina's young children. We are beyond thrilled at the launch of this project not only because it demonstrates the validity of this creative financing approach, but because it means brighter futures for South Carolina's most vulnerable mothers and children."
This South Carolina project has four concrete goals: reducing preterm births, decreasing child hospitalization and emergency department usage due to injury, improving healthy spacing between births, and increasing the number of first-time mothers served in the lowest-income communities.
The project mobilizes $30 million, with philanthropic funders committing $17 million to the project. Medicaid will fund approximately $13 million via a 1915(b) Medicaid Waiver awarded to the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
ICS Senior Fellow and Director of Pay for Success Financing Megan Golden said "South Carolina is leading the nation in its innovative use of federal funds to improve the health and well-being of thousands of mothers and children. We are eager to see other states follow South Carolina's lead in exploring the feasibility of using federal funds similarly."
The Institute for Child Success is currently working with six jurisdictions across the United States to develop Pay for Success projects to improve outcomes for young children and their families. The 2016 ICS Pay for Success competition to establish a new cohort of jurisdictions interested in improving outcomes for children and bringing new resources to early childhood programs is underway.