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  • <Delivery of Aid for OB Units>
    this month He said the state is still awaiting approval from the Center for Medicare Medicaid services for the matching federal portion DPW s preliminary estimates show 18 local hospitals would receive about 5 7 million in state and federal funds roughly 61 percent of the total allotment Three Philadelphia hospitals would receive the largest amounts with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania topping the list at 873 661 followed closely by Temple University Hospital at 872 576 then Albert Einstein Medical Center at 742 086 Hospitals still in the baby delivery business say while the additional funds will be helpful a more permanent solution to the inadequate payments levels for obstetrical care services is still needed It s a start but all the affected hospitals need more said Barry R Freedman the president and CEO of the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network We are working with the Hospital and Healthcare Association of Pennsylvania to get the legislature to increase the 5 million to at least 15 million for this budget line which would enable the state to access additional federal funds and create a 33 million pool But even if this pool of funds is accessed by the state it will not meet Einstein s needs for capital for expansion of our facilities These funds will not provide for the one time facility construction costs of about 7 million required to accommodate our increase in deliveries Freeman said Albert Einstein Medical Center in North Philadelphia is the epicenter of the more recent OB closures at Parkview Frankford and Jeanes hospitals He said Einstein was designed to handle 2 200 births but it is on track to deliver more than 3 000 this year Kate Kinslow executive director of Pennsylvania Hospital said her hospital expects to deliver 5 200 babies this year including about 400 from mothers who are undocumented immigrants from whom medical centers receive no payment Last year Pennsylvania Hospital delivered 4 800 babies the most in the city To handle the growing volume Pennsylvania Hospital has budgeted 4 million for infrastructure improvements even though it expects to lose 2 8 million on the service line We applaud the legislature for making this an important issue Kinslow said I know there are a lot of conflicting priorities out there This is not just a Pennsylvania Hospital issue I think we are just beginning to scratch the surface on this crisis that is occurring statewide Letty Thall public policy director for the Philadelphia based Maternity Care Coalition said the 10 9 million in state and federal funds will be beneficial for hospitals but the money doesn t address the overall payment issues that have prompted hospitals across the state to close maternity wards This is a one time payment and it s not just for obstetrical services Thall said The way the regulations are written money also goes to hospitals with neonatal intensive care units like the Children s Hospital of Philadelphia and St Christopher s Hospital for Children

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/DeliveryofAidforOBUnits.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Constituents Connect>
    Explore Maternity Crisis At the Center of the Baby Crisis More Childbirth Crisis news Safe Sleep News Breastfeeding News Other News The Public Record February 21 2008 Constituents Connect Pols on NE Childbirth Crisis Wrapped in Bert and Ernie gift paper constituents expressed their concerns and delivered postcards demanding access to safe and affordable prenatal care and birthing options for families in Northeast Philadelphia Among those at the meeting at Tiffany s Diner were State Sen Michael Stack State Rep John Sabatina Jr and representatives from Speaker of the House Dennis O Brien State Sen Shirley Kitchen and State Rep George Kenney Al Taubenberger president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce also joined to express his support of the development of a birth center A representative who is active on the general planning committee also attended on behalf of Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz Candidates in the 170th Dist Patrick Boyle and Matt Taubenberger were also present Postcards were collected for more than 15 members of the General assembly from both Philadelphia and Montgomery counties indicating a cross regional concern When presenting the postcards to Northeast representatives constituents asked legislators to move forward on solutions suggested at a Nov 29 town hall meeting Introduce legislation to permit the insurance commissioner to identify and raise reimbursement rates to cover all hospital and provider costs for maternal and child birth services for all insurance carriers make all reimbursement rates for prenatal labor and delivery public information and develop a plan for a birthing center in the Northeast MCC and the Northeast Community Planning Group announced a community meeting for residents to brainstorm future actions to be held on Feb 26 at 7 00 p m at the Northeast Regional Library All Northeast residents interested in working to alleviate the childbirth crisis are

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/ConstituentsConnect.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Addressing the crisis>
    cards were pegged for delivery to a total of 15 legislators Here in the Northeast pregnant women and their families have been left virtually stranded as due dates approach since all four obstetrics units that once offered care to women in the Northeast have been phased out In 1998 Nazareth Hospital closed its maternity unit Parkview Hospital closed altogether in 2003 while Frankford and Jeanes hospitals closed their obstetrics units within the past 20 months As a result the closest hospital obstetrics unit in the city is at Northeastern Hospital at the very southern end of the Northeast Einstein Medical Center and Temple University Hospital are located downtown In the suburbs Abington Memorial and Holy Redeemer hospitals in Montgomery County and St Mary Medical Center and Lower Bucks Hospital in Bucks County have picked up some of the overflow patients with the closure of Jeanes Hospital s maternity division last spring While suburban hospitals can be closer for some Northeast Philadelphia women that reality truly exists only if they don t have to rely on public transportation to reach them Also some hospitals don t accept all managed care or insurance plans According to Letty Thall director of research education and advocacy for the Maternity Care Coalition an organization started nearly 28 years ago in Philadelphia to provide support and programs to pregnant women the idea of bringing MCC and lawmakers together for a discussion of the issues was proposed by Matt Taubenberger Republican candidate for the 170th Legislative District of the state House of Representatives Last week s meeting at the Tiffany Diner on Roosevelt Boulevard enabled MCC leaders to ask six area legislators state Sen Michael Stack D 5th dist Rep John Sabatina D 174th dist and representatives for Sen Shirley Kitchen D 3rd dist Rep George Kenney

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/Addressingthecrisis.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Fight for Maternity Care Continues>
    Since 1980 the MCC has been that voice acting as an advocate for safe maternity care in high risk areas throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania Through their own programs they estimate to have helped over 60 000 expectant mothers Recognizing that the lack of maternity options puts Northeast Philadelphia at risk the organization held a town hall meeting this past November to shed more light onto the issue Last week s meeting was an offshoot of that town hall meeting I thought that we needed a small environment to talk about the changes that are needed Matt Taubenberger said We all live here in Northeast Philadelphia We deal with the inconveniences of living in the city but we also want the conveniences Now we have a situation that if you are going to give birth you have to leave the city I think that we can do better According to the MCC s web site approximately 50 000 babies are born within the five county area surrounding Philadelphia That figure has remained fairly constant in the past ten years while 13 local hospitals have ceased to provide maternity care Last year both Frankford and Jeanes Hospitals followed suit Obstetricians are also leaving the state The reasoning for both occurrences has been the rising cost of running a maternity unit We need to get higher reimbursements for obstetrics and neonatal care said State Senator Mike Stack D 5 That s why they ve close the units If we raise that rate it might be more feasible In Northeast Philadelphia we are doing well on health care but with neonatal and obstetrics we re doing lousy The hospitals lose money in delivering babies so we have to find a solution that is fair and equitable said State Rep John Sabatina D 174 We have to resolve this problem Currently the only places within the city limits to have a baby are Northeastern Hospital Temple University Hospital and Einstein Hospital Many residents have opted to travel to the suburbs to Abington or Holy Redeemer Hospitals in Montgomery County or St Mary s Hospital in Langhorne But often going to those institutions can cause other problems My son was born at Jeanes Hospital but I have a granddaughter that had to be born at St Mary s because Jeanes closed said Oxford Circle resident Marlyn Bradshaw herself a nurse There has to be options something closer The hospitals don t accept all health insurance policies Thall added And if you call 911 there is some question over whether of not they will cross county lines One option that was discussed at length last week was the opening of a birthing center in the area It was an option endorsed by Stack If we can combine that with hospital support it s going to be a better situation he said Eighty percent of babies are born without complications Nurse Mid wives this is what they do Former mayoral candidate and president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/FightforMaternityCareContinues.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <A call for better access>
    for Better Access to Maternity Care in NE Phila John George Staff Writer The Maternity Care Coalition plans to present more than 400 postcards demanding access to safe and affordable prenatal care and birthing options for families in Northeast Philadelphia to their state legislators Thursday afternoon The postcards are calling for immediate action to improve prenatal and maternity care Coalition officials said with the closing of the maternity wards at Jeanes and Frankford hospitals over the past two years the only one obstetrics unit still in Northeast Philadelphia is at Northeastern Hospital which is at the very southern end of the area Several nearby suburban Philadelphia medical centers including Holy Redeemer Abington Memorial and Lower Bucks hospital are reporting increases in births since the closures Since 1996 14 area hospitals citing expensive malpractice insurance costs and inadequate reimbursement rates from insurers have closed their maternity wards Just one Jennersville Medical Center in southern Chester County has opened an obstetrics department The Maternity Care Coalition a nonprofit organization that works to improve maternal and child health is advocating several solutions to the issue such as opening a birthing center in the Northeast and introducing legislation to permit the insurance commissioner to

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/Acallforbetteraccess.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Advocates Demand>
    Better Access Advocates Demand Maternity Care in Northeast NE Maternity Care Scarce Hospitals should have a Heart for Babies too Babies on Board NE Session to Explore Maternity Crisis At the Center of the Baby Crisis More Childbirth Crisis news Safe Sleep News Breastfeeding News Other News The Philadelphia Inquirer January 31 2008 Advocates Demand Maternity Care in Northeast Stacey Burling Staff Writer Members of a health care advocacy group plan to deliver 400 postcards this afternoon to local lawmakers asking for improved access to maternity care in Northeast Philadelphia State Sen Michael Stack and staff members for Reps Dennis O Brien George Kenney and Sen Shirley Kitchen plus Al Taubenberger president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce are expected to meet the advocates and accept delivery of the postcards at a meeting at a local diner the Maternity Care Coalition said The postcards grew out of a town hall meeting in November that focused on concerns about the availability of maternity care in the Northeast after the closure of obstetrical units at Jeanes and Frankford hospitals The lawmakers will be asked to move forward on suggestions made by community members including opening a birthing center raising insurance

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/AdvocatesDemand.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <NE Maternity Care Scarce>
    care and when their insurance is not accepted they consider going without it Providers are overwhelmed with too many deliveries while hospitals struggle to stay in the baby business when they lose 2 000 4 000 per birth These are the stories heard at a Town Meeting in Northeast Philadelphia sponsored by Maternity Care Coalition and The Community Board of Public Health Center 10 As many as 125 citizens providers public officials and maternal and child health advocates discussed dwindling maternity services John Domzalski Philadelphia s Health Commissioner described a stable birth rate over the last decade of around 22 000 even as 11 OB units with 350 licensed beds previously used for labor and delivery have disappeared Dr Calvin Johnson Pennsylvania Secretary of Health addressed the need to analyze community level data to identify inequities in maternity care Dennis O Brien Speaker of the Pennsylvania House suggested the need to investigate how to make insurance reimbursements transparent to the public eye Specific solutions for alleviating this crisis include Legislate that insurance rates and reimbursement must be transparent to the public Increase reimbursement rates from Medicaid and commercial insurance so hospitals no longer lose money on births Eliminate disincentives to providing care by reforming malpractice insurance policies Ensure basic services close to home for emergencies and convenience Opt for birth centers with backup physicians at nearby hospitals and midwives with birthing privileges Also add birth supports such as Doulas lactation consultants etc Abide by a community informed process when a hospital closes including enough transition time for providers and supportive resources for families i e transportation costs to ensure access to care Extend health insurance coverage to all women MCC Executive Director JoAnne Fischer remarked There are two possibilities either OB is made profitable or we say that profit is

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/NEMaternityCareScarce.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <HospitalsShouldHaveaHeart>
    Breastfeeding News Other News The Northeast Times December 20 2007 Hospitals should have a Heart for Babies too Letter to the Editor Sue Rosenthal and Letty Thall Regarding William Kenny s story in the Dec 6 edition on Frankford Hospital s Heart Center Their hearts a thumpin Frankford s renovation announcement came at the same time that Northeast Philadelphia citizens at a town meeting were voicing concerns that women are laboring in hospital hallways due to overcrowded conditions since all four local hospitals previously offering obstetrics Frankford Parkview Nazareth and Jeanes chose to close their OB units or the entire hospital As William Kenny noted in his article Frankford s look at the age demographics of the area assured them that the need for cardiac care will continue to grow As families move out or avoid the Northeast because of no maternity services an aging demographic may indeed be inevitable Furthermore with more than 5 000 births every year in the Northeast alone any rationale of closures due to lacking demand is questionable Another excellent cover story in the same edition of the Northeast Times reviews the maternity crisis resulting from high malpractice low Medicaid reimbursement and difficulty recruiting skilled practitioners all issues overcome by the new cardiac care department at Frankford Can Frankford share the formula for expanding services despite barriers that have proved fatal to obstetrics Ironically the hearts will be attended to in space previously used to deliver babies Frankford used operating funds to finance the expansion where their heart patients can walk a mere 15 feet from diagnosis to comprehensive care Meanwhile women in Northeast Philadelphia could spend up to an hour on public transportation or a half hour by car non rush hour to give birth What is not clear is Frankford s choice of

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/HospitalsShouldHaveaHeart.html (2016-05-02)
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