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New Report on Premature Birth Rate Mandates Deeper Commitment, Different Approaches

November 2018 Blog no comments

As we again honor World Prematurity Day on November 17th, we must also acknowledge the problem is still growing. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the average rate of preterm birth (birth prior to 37 weeks gestation) has increased for the third year in a row. The preterm birth rate has increased from 9.6% to 9.93% between 2016 and 2017. As a result, the March of Dimes Premature Birth Rate Report Card gives the United States a disappointing grade of “C”.

Prematurity is the leading cause of death worldwide in children under five years of age. This vulnerable population is at an increased risk of long-term health problems such as: cerebral palsy, developmental delay, breathing difficulties, blindness and hearing loss.

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NAS Awareness Month Brings the Entirety of the Opioid Epidemic Into Focus

October 2018 Blog, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Comments Off on NAS Awareness Month Brings the Entirety of the Opioid Epidemic Into Focus

October marks Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Awareness Month. NAS is the result of the sudden discontinuation of fetal exposure of a substance, typically an opiate such as methadone, heroin, or prescription opiates. It can give afflicted newborns a constellation of symptoms such as: vomiting, loose stools, high-pitched crying, irritability, inconsolability, tremors, sweating, sneezing, poor feeding, or even seizures.

Because of the opioid epidemic in the United States, the incidence of NAS has skyrocketed over the past decade. For the NICU physicians and nurses that care for such unfortunate infants on a regular basis, following best practices for NAS care is crucial.

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Honoring All Those Fighting to Improve the Lives of NICU Babies and Families

September 2018 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on Honoring All Those Fighting to Improve the Lives of NICU Babies and Families

As Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month comes to a close, we’d like to remind everyone of the unique challenges that families, providers, and communities face in caring for premature and medically complex newborns – struggles that often endure well beyond infancy.

The March of Dimes is one of the most widely known and respected charities. They’ve been leading the charge for healthier babies and moms for decades, and their mission is near and dear to our hearts here at ProgenyHealth.  Fighting Premature Birth: The Prematurity Campaign puts focus on many of the issues that we also face in providing care management services for such infants and their families in the first year of life.

According to CDC data as of 2016 cited in the campaign, 9.8% of all births in the US are preterm (<37 weeks gestation). Unfortunately, the rate of such births is growing, and the national opioid epidemic is contributing to the problem. To-date, a single solution has proven elusive. Until one is found, the best approach is a renewed focus on the issue that encompasses its inherent breadth and depth.

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Social Determinants of Health – More Than Buzzwords to Us!

January 2018 Blog, The Business of Health Care Comments Off on Social Determinants of Health – More Than Buzzwords to Us!

While 2017 brought growth at ProgenyHealth in the traditional sense – more clients, more NICU cases, and more employees – it also brought with it a redefined focus of how to truly impact the health and welfare of the NICU infants and their families to whom we provide care coordination services.

The effect of social determinants on health was a theme resonating throughout the managed care industry and with the majority of our clients in 2017. The World Health Organization describes the social determinants of health (SDOH) as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age – and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.” As we worked to learn more about our customers challenges, we re-examined how our teams inquire about and address the social health determinants. continue reading

World Prematurity Day Highlights Population on the Rise

November 2017 Blog Comments Off on World Prematurity Day Highlights Population on the Rise

November 17th is World Prematurity Day. At ProgenyHealth, our mission is to improve outcomes for this vulnerable population. Prematurity (birth prior to 37 weeks gestation) is the leading cause of death worldwide in children under five years of age. Here are a few facts illustrating why prematurity remains at the forefront of population management agendas. continue reading

ProgenyHealth’s Quality Focus Delivers Results

October 2017 Blog, The Business of Health Care Comments Off on ProgenyHealth’s Quality Focus Delivers Results

In business, engineering and manufacturing, quality has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something; it’s also defined as fitness for purpose. Quality is a perceptual, conditional, and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people. In healthcare, we deal with people’s lives, not tangible things so the definition changes. The Institute of Medicine defines health care quality as “the degree to which health care services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge.”

ProgenyHealth has a quality management (QM) program, the purpose of which is to ensure that our team, interacting with clients and our client’s members uses a coordinated, integrated and comprehensive approach to address preventive and clinical care, while ensuring safety and access to services for all client’s members. continue reading

Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month

September 2017 Blog, Stories from the NICU, The Business of Health Care Comments Off on Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness Month

September is Neonatal Intensive Care Awareness month, an observance designed to honor families experiencing a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the health professionals who care for them. In honor of this, we have dedicated the September Blog to the families who have received NICU care coordination services from ProgenyHealth over the past decade.

ProgenyHealth works with providers and families coordinating the care of thousands of infants admitted to the NICU each year. Partnering with health plans across the United States, ProgenyHealth’s team of physicians, NICU nurses, pediatric nurses, and social workers is improving the health outcomes of these medically fragile infants one baby at a time. To illustrate, we share a story of one of our recent cases….. continue reading

Lactation Expertise Serves NICU Families

August 2017 Blog, Breastfeeding Comments Off on Lactation Expertise Serves NICU Families

The anticipation of a baby’s birth is an exciting time for many people. The mother-to-be is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest family member and has given some thought about how she will feed that child. Many mothers choose to breastfeed so that their baby can receive the numerous advantages of breastmilk. When a baby is sent to the NICU, many of the things that a mother anticipated are taken away: skin to skin holding immediately following delivery, breastfeeding early, and spending every moment getting to bond with the baby. The NICU is a frightening place and the mother sees her baby in this complex medical environment, feeling somewhat helpless. Pumping milk is the only thing that she can “do” for her baby as she watches the various caretakers provide the care that she feels she should be providing for her baby. Studies show that establishing a milk supply and eventually establishing a breastfeeding relationship helps a mother establish her role and view herself as a “good mother” which may be a factor for higher sensitivity and secure attachment to the baby. continue reading

Clinical Conversations Deliver Healthy NICU Outcomes

July 2017 Blog, Health Management, The Business of Health Care Comments Off on Clinical Conversations Deliver Healthy NICU Outcomes

When I joined ProgenyHealth as a medical director, one of the aspects of the job that I found most appealing was the ability to do meaningful outreach to other neonatologists across the country. Having taken care of many medically complex babies as an attending physician in a NICU for eight years, I feel like I can understand what physicians in the community are going through and the challenges they are facing.

One of the best opportunities for engaging with these physicians comes when we at ProgenyHealth partner with a new client. This provides a chance to connect with physicians, and to discuss how their practice patterns can synergize with ProgenyHealth guidelines to improve patient outcomes. These physician-to-physician discussions form a solid foundation from which trust and working relationships are formed. continue reading

Part II: A NICU Infant at Home – One Father’s Story

June 2017 Blog, Stories from the NICU Comments Off on Part II: A NICU Infant at Home – One Father’s Story

As excited as we were to take Koby home and out of the NICU, we missed our nurses. Not only because they were good at what they do and helped keep Koby safe and alive, but they also brought my wife and me so much comfort. Having them available to talk to and encourage us was vital. At first, it was difficult without them and we felt a little extra weight on our shoulders as the reality of caring for Koby on our own set in. Having a child with special needs creates many unique challenges as parents. It was such a relief to have our ProgenyHealth Nurse Case Manager, Melissa, there as a resource to navigate any medical issues that popped up. We were able to focus on Koby and our other children, knowing Melissa would help us quickly address anything we needed. Her assistance was well timed and brought us tremendous relief. continue reading