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.
Fulfilling our mission at ProgenyHealth means supporting all those who care about and impact NICU infant health outcomes. Envision a circle, with infants and families at the center, widening to encompass providers, payers, social services, and many others. This is the networked team that must work together to effectively address and overcome the difficulties inherent in managing premature and medically complex infant cases.
In our recently updated Best Practices for Management of Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), ProgenyHealth addressed major issues affecting these babies and their families. This new document was researched and developed by the clinical team at ProgenyHealth, which includes neonatologists and pediatricians. The contents were then reviewed and approved by our Medical Advisory Board, a committee of practicing neonatologists from many regions across the U.S., to assure both scientific accuracy and consistency with current clinical practice patterns.
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 with other neonatologists across the country. Having taken care of many medically complex babies as an attending physician in a NICU for over eight years, I believe I have a good understanding of what physicians in the community are going through and the challenges they are facing.