DETROIT, Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To support its smallest, most fragile members – premature and medically complex newborns – and their overwhelmed families, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is proud to be the first health plan in Michigan to contract with ProgenyHealth, the market leader in evidence-based neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) case management.
All HAP contracted hospitals with special care nurseries and NICUs are participating in this program. Health care providers will gain access to ProgenyHealth's national experience, research, best practices, knowledge and digital tools.
ProgenyHealth has worked with more than 1,000 hospitals and 6,000 providers across the country, has successfully managed thousands of NICU infants and delivered positive results to its health plan partners. It is the only national company focused exclusively on NICU care management.
ProgenyHealth takes a holistic approach to working with plans, providers and families throughout the NICU baby's first year of life. Their team of neonatologists, NICU nurses, pediatric nurses and social workers work collaboratively with providers to share evidence-based best practices. Families participate in the health care decision-making process and work closely with the ProgenyHealth case managers.
"HAP and HAP Midwest Health Plan are raising the standard of care for premature and medically complex newborns by providing them the healthiest start to life," said Bala Pai, M.D., HAP senior medical director and pediatrician. "New parents will receive 24/7 support and peace of mind throughout the most frightening, joyful, amazing experience of their lives. HAP's mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the lives we touch, and for these most vulnerable members there's now an opportunity for a better start and a brighter future, from birth to first birthday."
HAP anticipates that improved care coordination during the baby's first year of life will result in healthier babies, reduced hospital readmissions and a highly valued service for its HAP and HAP Midwest Health Plan members.
"We want families to leave the hospital feeling confident they'll be able to care for their baby's complex medical needs at home," Dr. Pai said. "HAP will monitor quality of care metrics and evaluate the impact on utilization, but the greatest indicator of success will be the number of 'Wow!' testimonials from our members."
Proactive hospital discharge planning begins on Day One of ProgenyHealth's involvement to ensure the family feels more confident that they understand their infant's medical issues and that all necessary medications, equipment and supplies are in the home prior to discharge. ProgenyHealth will also ensure that families received the proper training and digital tools (e.g., the ProgenyHealth Baby Trax mobile app). ProgenyHealth provides 24/7 support from a neonatal nurse case manager who also coordinates all follow-up care and the mother's postpartum needs as well.
"We're honored that HAP and HAP Midwest have chosen to partner with ProgenyHealth to provide specialty management services to their premature and medically complex newborns," said Dr. Ellen Stang, President and CEO of ProgenyHealth. "We look forward to collaborating with their providers to manage variations in care and improve outcomes for their NICU population. In addition to utilization management, our case managers connect with the families of NICU babies soon after birth to educate them in their new role, help them understand the transition of care, and continue to coach and support them through the first year of life. We educate parents and caregivers and empower them to play an active role in meeting their baby's needs."
A recent survey of new parents showed that 35 percent of them were not prepared for how hard it would be to have a new baby, with almost half (49 percent) feeling "shocked" as they adjusted to their new lifestyle. The survey, commissioned by leading toy company Little Tikes, also showed it took parents an average of 14 months to "get the hang of it."
"The fact that this HAP-ProgenyHealth initiative not only focuses on the NICU stay, but also better equips parents for the major undertaking after being discharged from the hospital and through the crucial first year, is invaluable," said Dr. Pai. "As a pediatrician, oftentimes I see new parents, including those with very healthy babies, who don't feel well prepared for parenting. Imagine having the extra challenge and responsibility of caring for a premature or medically complex newborn. We are enthusiastic about how the HAP-ProgenyHealth relationship will bring a high level of expertise that helps families navigate the health system during a very trying, emotional time."
A new mom had this to say about enrolling in the ProgenyHealth program, "When I needed appointments scheduled, prescriptions filled, and had medical equipment needs, ProgenyHealth was always there to take care of it for me, which allowed me to have more time to tend to my little one. They were always friendly and always stayed on top of my son's progress and medical needs. Progeny was a wonderful resource during such a hard time for my family."
About Health Alliance Plan
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to more than 670,000 members and companies of all sizes. For more than 50 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to enhance the health and well-being of the lives we touch. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs, and personalized customer service. For more information, visit www.hap.org.
Susan Schwandt, APR
Health Alliance Plan
MCCI on behalf of HAP
SOURCE Health Alliance Plan (HAP)