Healthy Start Home Care

The Healthy Start Program is dedicated to providing services to vulnerable pregnant women and their infants. The program’s mission is to give children the best start in life medically and nutritionally and to support their mothers in providing them a safe, nurturing home life. Our Optimal performance Project in Healthy Start deepens our understanding of the health care needs of women and expands our specialty in this area.

 Variation in Process

Managers found the data on variation in process across sites in the Healthy Start Program very helpful.  The results below present some average ranges across participating sites:

  • Number of visits per episode of care: ranges from 25-50 visits/client
  • Staff mix: ranges from 9- 46% RNs and from 49-88% less credentialed staff
  • Visit preparation time: ranges from 8-30 minutes
  • Visit time: ranges from 25-86 minutes
  • Non-direct clinical time:  ranges from 7-59%


This variation resulted in strikingly different unit costs. Total unit costs for a Healthy Start episode of care varied by over 235% from approximately $3,170 per episode to almost $10,710 per episode.

This broad variation is common in all areas of medicine where HealthMetrics has completed projects.  The power of HealthMetrics strategy is to sort out from the variation what is productive and what is unproductive. By knowing what elements in the process drive excellent outcomes, managers can streamline their delivery process and be assured that they are providing excellent care.