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Scaling maternal care that works

Written by
Marta Bralic Kerns
Pomelo Care
June 20, 2024
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I started Pomelo because 1 in 10 babies born in the US today starts their life in a neonatal intensive care unit. Maternal morbidity and mortality rates are higher than our peer countries, and the disparities in outcomes for people of color are unacceptable. The evidence exists for how to identify people at highest risk and which interventions are most effective, but there just isn’t enough capacity in the healthcare system to apply these interventions at scale.

We are addressing these challenges head on by analyzing claims and health record data to identify individual risk factors, and providing virtual pregnancy, postpartum, and infant care to patients across the country to reduce those risks, dramatically increasing access and improving outcomes.

Covering 3 million lives with health plan partners

We’re proud of the milestones we’ve achieved over the last year. Since just the beginning of 2024, we’ve grown from 2 million covered lives to over 3 million today and are serving patients in 46 states through our commercial and Medicaid health plan partners. And we’re expanding access to quality care for patients: one-third of our care occurs outside of traditional office hours, when patients have real and often urgent needs, but typically can’t access care outside of a hospital.

Published data that shows our model is working

Most importantly, we’ve proven the impact of our care on patients. The evidence is clear on what needs to be done to prevent the severe complications of preeclampsia and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) – two of the leading drivers of maternal mortality and morbidity in the US. We know that a low dose aspirin regimen reduces preeclampsia risk by 25%, but fewer than 25% of high risk patients start taking aspirin and that too few patients are screened for PMADs and offered timely treatment.

Last month, we presented new data at the ACOG Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting showing that Pomelo’s telemedicine care dramatically improves both evidence-based aspirin prophylaxis rates (by 2.4x) and mental health screening rates (by 7x) in a Medicaid population.

Source: Quantifying Aspirin Prophylaxis Use in Pregnancies in a Medicaid Population at High Risk of Preeclampsia through a Virtual Maternity Care Program, Pomelo Care, Presented at ACOG 2024 Clinical & Scientific Meeting
Source: Program in Screening for Prenatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in a Medicaid Population, Pomelo Care, Presented at ACOG 2024 Clinical & Scientific Meeting

This fall, we’ll present data at both the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Global Congress and the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition showing reductions in emergency room, inpatient, and NICU utilization as a result of Pomelo’s care.

Behind these statistics are patients whose lives changed because they got the care they needed. 

Like Ava, who had preeclampsia during her first pregnancy and was now pregnant with her second baby, putting her at high risk of developing preeclampsia again. Our provider recommended that she start taking daily low-dose aspirin and spent time sharing the evidence and addressing concerns about taking medication during pregnancy. When Ava’s Pomelo nurse checked in a couple days later to see if she had started her daily aspirin regimen, Ava said she hadn't because she couldn't afford the out-of-pocket cost. Her care team quickly jumped into action to find a bottle of 100 low-dose aspirin for $4 at a local store. Ava started taking low-dose aspirin and stuck with it – significantly reducing her risk of developing preeclampsia. She avoided preeclampsia altogether and delivered at term, with no NICU stay.

We’ve long known what works to address the maternal health crisis. The critical questions have always been: can you identify the patients who are at highest risk, can you deeply engage them in care and drive uptake of the prevention strategies we know work, and can you do it in the highest risk populations with the most limited access to care?

With this data, we proved that we absolutely can.
New funding to continue to increase access to evidence-based care

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve raised a $46M Series B led by our existing investors First Round Capital and a16z. Both of them have had a front-row seat to our fast progress since we announced our Series A last June and wanted to double down. I’m also excited that Stripes, who I have known since our partnership at Flatiron Health, joined this round along with participation from existing investors including BoxGroup, Operator Partners, and SV Angel. They join our amazing group of angels, including Adam Boehler, Founder and Managing Partner of Rubicon Founders and former Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), and Founder of Landmark Health and Puneet Singh, CEO of Carebridge.

We’re putting this funding to work to address the root causes of the maternal health crisis, especially for populations most at risk. Our incredible patients deserve more from their healthcare, and our tenacious, humble, and passionate team is committed to fighting for our patients to have the best possible outcomes.

As we enter our next phase of growth at Pomelo, I continue to reflect on the first piece of patient feedback we ever received: “Thanks to you, I finally feel safe.” I’ll never forget it. Now, we have the opportunity to help so many more patients have that feeling that they deserve. 

If you’d like to join our team, we’re hiring at
If you’re a commercial or Medicaid health plan interested in improving maternal outcomes, please reach out at
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All clinical services are provided by licensed physicians and clinicians practicing within an independently owned and operated medical practice, Pomelo, P.C. or affiliated professional corporations. Pomelo Care, Inc. does not provide any medical, nursing, or other healthcare provider services.