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Sera Prognostics Named "Valid Vendor of the Month"

Updated: Nov 9


Quizzify is pleased to announce Sera Prognostics as the 5th recipient of the Valid Vendor of the Month Award. In an industry in which awards for alleged outcomes are about as common as vendors fabricating them, Valid Vendor awards are unique in that they carry a financial guarantee that the award is legitimate: if the vendor does not achieve what we say it achieves in any joint account, Quizzify refunds a third of its own fees. This is in addition to our 100% fee risk.


These Valid Vendors get their own Q&A webinar hosted by Quizzify. This one is December 10, 1 PM EST. Register here.

Sera Prognostics offers a breakthrough, the PreTRM(r) Test, a CLIA-approved technology. Sera Prognostics has identified biomarkers predictive of preterm birth, resulting in the PreTRM® test, a first-of-its-kind blood test that can a provide a women’s individual risk prediction, early and accurately.

You may not be aware that birth events in combination aren’t just your #1 source of admission. In most years, they are your #1 hospital cost. This chart (which is several years old, but little has likely changed) shows the top 25 aggregate hospital costs for employers. #5, #6,#20 and #24 are related to delivery/newborn complications, with many #3s as well. About a tenth of all births are premature.



And yet, as an employer or carrier, you have very limited options to control this expense. No high-risk maternity program has ever been validated by the Validation Institute for savings or simply outcomes. Few if any vendors still even pretend to claim impact. The reason? Only 17% of preemies can be identified early by preterm birth history and/or cervical length screening 1,2.

The PreTRM Test technology—a single blood draw at 19-20 weeks—can increase that figure to 92% for the 88% of US pregnancies which are covered by the test’s indicated use. With the exception of silver diamine fluoride (SDF) for cavities and Quizzify’s surprise bill solution that got featured in the New York Times, this is the brightest-line difference between conventional practice and Quizzify-endorsed practice that we have ever seen.

What is this blood draw looking for? In women at increased risk for spontaneous preterm birth:

  • The test determines the serum levels of two proteins: insulin-like growth factor binding protein 4 (IBP4) & sex hormone-binding protein (SHBG).

  • This proprietary 2-protein signature has compelling biology in adverse pregnancy conditions and is a strong predictor of spontaneous preterm birth occurring before 37 weeks gestational age.


Once high-risk moms are identified, the protocols for managing them are well-established, ranging from commonly used progesterone to referral of care to a perinatologist, a specialty so novel that Word puts a squiggly red line underneath it. Keeping the baby in the womb offers a spectacular payoff in the short term (an extra week in the womb could save significantly more time in the NICU). Long term, premature babies have higher risk of chronic disease and learning disabilities.


Their claim of fewer days in the NICU can easily be measured and guaranteed, and correlates perfectly with quality/satisfaction. However, our advice to employers would be to recommend treating PreTRM® like a fertility benefit—something that you would offer even if there were no savings, simply as an employee relations tool. Sera can bill you directly or you can add it to your coverage and then it becomes just another claim.

One might even add that – like surprise bills and SDF – an employer has an obligation to offer this solution to employees. Or to put it another way, why wouldn’t you offer them these solutions? What is the argument in favor of premature babies, unnecessary dental work, and surprise bills?

Of course, as with the other two breakthrough Quizzify solutions, you have to teach employees to request it. As with the silver diamine fluoride and the surprise bills, PreTRM® is not something your doctor/provider will recommend. Not because they choose not to (as in the SDF and the surprise bill avoidance), but because it takes 17 years for a new technology to become widely adopted. Hence, Quizzify customers may request a quiz to educate pregnant employees on prematurity generally, and PreTRM in particular.

If you are not a Quizzify customer, this offers a good chance to start. Even preventing or delaying one premature birth pays for Quizzify many times over.


References:

1. Petrini JR, Callaghan WM, Klebanoff M, et al. Estimated effect of 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate on preterm birth in the United States. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;105:267-72.


2. Hassan SS, Romero R, Vidyadhari D, et al. Vaginal progesterone reduces the rate of preterm birth in women with a sonographic short cervix: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011;38:18-31.