Every year, the recognition of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month1 seeks to educate moms on the importance of breastfeeding, and empowering them to commit to breastfeeding their children – a practice the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says improves the health and wellbeing of both mother and baby. At ProgenyHealth, we recognize the critical role that proper breastfeeding education and support plays in the lives of our NICU families. Our case managers are dedicated to ensuring that our moms have the proper connections to resources, education, and supplies for breastfeeding and nutrition.
Despite the gradual reopening of the economy, over 21 million Americans are still unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as states reopen, millions of people who have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage are turning to Medicaid.
Infants admitted to a hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are understood to be those born prematurely or with medical complexities, warranting care that, by definition, is more intensive and also more costly than that provided to a healthy newborn. However, accepting the accuracy of this scenario may lead to a significant misinterpretation regarding your NICU population. Specifically, what happens to your analysis when the care of healthy newborns is being billed as NICU services?
I am blessed and proud to be the father of two boys, Jimmy (30 weeks) and Johnny (31 weeks), and one girl, Emily (26 weeks). All three were born premature and spent a combined 139 nights inpatient in the hospital NICU. Each time was an emotional roller coaster for my wife and me. Going through it once does not make the next ride any easier, whether it is one day or several months in the NICU. They each come with much fear, uncertainty, and sleepless nights. And though I received great support from hospital staff, family, and friends, being a NICU father can leave a man feeling a bit helpless. I am sharing my story to help other dads and caregivers in my situation with some insights on what to expect.
June is the month for honoring graduates – the end of a period of focused educational effort and the beginning of a new stage in a life full of promise. Although commencement ceremonies and family parties will look much different this year, well-deserved recognitions will still happen. But there is a lesser known category of graduates who achieve so much worth celebrating, and they do so years before their first day of school: infants who spend their first days, weeks, or months of life in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I would like to tell you my story, not just as General Counsel and Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer of ProgenyHealth, but as the mom of a NICU graduate.
May 6th has long been the start of National Nurses Week, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic the event has been expanded to honor nurses everywhere for the whole month of May, 2020. ANA Enterprise (a family of organizations that is composed of the American Nurses Association [ANA], the American Nurses Credentialing Center [ANCC], and the American Nurses Foundation [ANF]), made it a month-long celebration to highlight the extraordinary work nurses are doing every day.
What would a world look like without vaccines?
Now more than ever we are seeing the benefits of having vaccines for illnesses, and scientists all over the world are hard at work developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Once a safe and effective vaccine is developed, we will be able to vaccinate many people to help eliminate the risk of another crushing pandemic.
Navigating the stressors of a medically complicated birth can seem overwhelming, even for those that may have good health insurance and few barriers to resources. For families struggling to overcome disparities involving the social determinants of health, like lack of access to basic necessities (e.g. housing or food) or even managing addiction or mental health concerns, giving birth to a NICU baby can create further insecurities experienced by the whole family. This is where our team of social workers at ProgenyHealth play such a pivotal role in the lives of these vulnerable infants and their families, connecting them to vital local resources like food and housing, drug rehabilitation programs, and counseling services.
We are all facing a dynamic and challenging situation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our families, friends, customers, employees, and communities are all dramatically affected by the impact of the virus and its impact on the global economy. During this time, we wanted to reach out and share how our ProgenyHealth case managers are helping families to keep themselves, their infants and other young children in the family healthy, as well as to share tips on how to reduce your risk of infection.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages and many begin to deal with the usual health issues that come with getting older, much attention has been placed on the costs and resource utilization of medical care for this group. Data from CMS shows that approximately 30% of all Medicare spending occurs in the last year of beneficiary’s lives, with much of that spending taking place in the 6 months just prior to death. As shown on the chart Average Health Spending by Age in the United States, published on RegisteredNursing.org, there is a dramatic upward cost trend as people age. For a moment, let’s turn our attention to the opposite end of the spectrum and examine the often overlooked high costs that can arise at the beginning of life.