How to manage social determinants of health for NICU infants and families
From our very beginning, we’ve focused on these complex variables and the mother / infant dyad.
Everyone involved in managed care is familiar with social determinants of health (SDOH)
Food, baby supplies, shelter, safety; without each, at-risk infants and their caregivers are less likely to achieve healthy outcomes. Keeping these factors in clear focus is what we’ve done from day one.
Managing such a broad set of variables within an at-risk NICU population is a daunting challenge for even the largest plans and employers. That’s the challenge our founder, Dr. Ellen Stang, embraced from the start as core to ProgenyHealth’s mission and solution set.
Our Case Management (CM) team understands these social determinants of health and focuses on solving the broader problems of each family we serve. Proactive, frequent outreach is key. CM works in close coordination with UM to contact the mother or family while the baby is still in the NICU. The dialogue continues via phone and secure text throughout the first year of life. And for Medicaid populations specifically, the support and connections to local resources that we provide are essential.
ProgenyHealth’s workflows have been continually refined to focus on these critical factors:
- Our Needs Assessment includes questions about food insecurity, domestic violence, housing and baby needs (diapers, clothing, etc.).
- Our new hire training of CMs includes in-depth review of SDOH impacting modern NICU populations.
- Our teams utilize geo-mapping tools that identify resources tailored to the infants’ needs.
Modern issues like opioid addiction are making the SDOH challenge exponentially more difficult. But every day, we strive to help NICU families address the problems that impact their daily lives. It isn’t easy, but it’s the right thing to do to live our core values and advance our mission of helping every infant achieve a healthy outcome.