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  • <Babies on Board>
    another 6 5 million spent on newborn cases according to Cohen The hospital is self insured Costs for care as well as coping with insurance reimbursements and the growing costs of malpractice insurance are only part of the equation A sign on the stage at the Nov 29 meeting said it all Babies don t wait Fund services now before it s too late When it s too late to go anywhere else a Nazareth Hospital nurse told attendees at the meeting women often go to the nearest emergency room where they may be cared for by nurses whose neonatal education is limited to what they learned in nursing school Cesarean sections are also performed by doctors who may not have a specialty in the surgery she said One nurse at the meeting wondered if people will even continue to make the decision to have and raise their families in Northeast Philadelphia A lawmaker at the session state House Speaker Dennis O Brien said he is concerned about the trend of hospitals getting out of the maternity business This is not a partisan issue said O Brien who was joined onstage by state Rep John Sabatina Jr D 174th dist There s no silver bullet O Brien said but he called for transparency of insurance and access for all constituents O Brien R 169th dist promised to listen and to do everything he could to convene discussions of the issue One of O Brien s colleagues in the House state Rep Kathy Manderino a Democrat whose district includes parts of West and Northwest Philadelphia has introduced House Bill 1514 which would provide 15 million in state funds and 18 million in federal money as medical assistance to hospitals that serve a large number of low income and uninsured obstetrical patients That funding would be appropriated after the fact Additionally hospitals that receive the money would not be permitted to close in the same fiscal year that it is received The bill is expected to come to a vote this month While the provision to thwart closures would not have prevented Temple University Health Systems which received similar funds in 2006 from ending maternity services in May at Jeanes Hospital in Fox Chase a delay would have given expectant women more time to make other arrangements for pre natal care and delivery Those arrangements include possibly changing insurance plans as well as finding other doctors midwives and hospitals Here in the Northeast the closest city obstetrics unit is at Northeastern Hospital Einstein Medical Center and Temple University Hospital are also located in town In the suburbs Abington Memorial and Holy Redeemer hospitals in Montgomery County and St Mary Medical Center and Lower Bucks Hospital have picked up some of the overflow patients from the closure of Jeanes Hospital s maternity division While suburban hospitals can be closer for some Northeast Philadelphia women they are closer only if patients don t have to take public transportation to reach them Also some hospitals

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/BabiesonBoard.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <NE Session Exploring Maternity Crisis>
    real public dialogue said Letty Thall public policy director for the Maternity Care Coalition The coalition is a non profit organization in the city that seeks to improve maternal and child health and well being Its programs include outreach efforts in low income neighborhoods and advocacy at the local state and national levels The MOMobile is the organization s signature program with vans that visit neighborhoods to deliver support and resources to pregnant women new parents infants and their families in eight areas of Southeastern Pennsylvania including Philadelphia and sections of Montgomery and Delaware counties Some of those services include providing links to prenatal care pediatric and women s health care behavioral health services nutrition programs education and other community resources On Sept 21 the state House of Representatives Health and Human Sevices Committee held a public hearing to get input from those on the front lines of maternity care All the hospitals talked about their needs We were the one community group saying that needs went beyond the hospitals Thall said Another part of the problem is prenatal care According to Thall the Maternity Care Coalition studied the issue by neighborhood dividing this region into the Lower Northeast and the Upper Northeast The waiting time for an initial appointment can range from seven to 17 days in the Upper Northeast and seven to 14 days in the Lower Northeast That can lead to women being told to try another health center We don t know how many get lost or don t make that phone call Thall said Last week state Rep Kathy Manderino D 194th dist introduced House Bill 1514 which would provide 15 million in state funds and be matched by 18 million in federal funds for medical assistance to hospitals that serve a large number of

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/NESessionExploringMaternityCrisis.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <City Health Crisis>
    abandoning obstetrical care but also doctors who provide this care have left the city Nearly one third of Ob Gyn physicians in the region have left or stopped doing obstetrics We are keenly aware that this is not just an urban problem but it is a major problem for AEMC This Medical Center was designed to handle approximately 2 200 births per year This past fiscal year saw our OB department deliver more than 2 800 births and we are on track to deliver more than 3 000 babies in 2007 He explained the causes of the problem So why have more than half of Philadelphia s in patient obstetric programs closed in the last decade There are many reasons First inadequate reimbursement rates for obstetrical services including unfunded testing and screening requirements Einstein receives disproportionate share payments which historically helped to mitigate the unusually high percentage of uninsured and underinsured patients These payments though do not cover projected losses Second the professional liability environment is causing hospitals that delivered babies to stop providing in patient obstetrical care The risk of large awards some of which are over 20 million cannot be absorbed by the hospitals when they are already losing money on each delivery If all of us don t work together to tackle the issues surrounding declining reimbursement rates burgeoning medical liability costs and the shortage of qualified obstetricians and the multiple secondary effects that result from these issues the crisis will only worsen and our mission will be jeopardized Letty Thall public policy director Maternity Care Coalition told the Committee The Maternity Care Coalition is widely known for its MOMobile Program and for community based family support services for pregnant women new parents infants and their families Our experience working with women and their families across Philadelphia

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/CityHealthCrisis.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <At the Center of the Baby Crisis>
    are just fewer doctors in the city practicing obstetrics as a result of the declining reimbursement rates and the medical liability environment These factors make it harder to recruit and keep obstetricians At Einstein we ve been delivering babies for 155 years It s the core of who we are Yet we stand at the epicenter of the more recent closures in or around North Philadelphia including those at Parkview Frankford and Jeanes Einstein was designed to handle about 2 200 births a year Last fiscal year our OB department handled more than 2 800 and we re on track to deliver more than 3 000 babies in 2007 Almost eight in 10 obstetric patients in the Einstein network are uninsured or covered by Medicaid New patients are almost exclusively covered by Medicaid or pay out of pocket We lose 2 000 4 000 per delivery on these patients And many patients in this group are at the highest risk for bad outcomes that can lead to problems for children for the rest of their lives Philadelphia has the distinction of having the highest infant and neonatal mortality rates and the highest rate of low birth weight in the state Maternity admissions at Einstein increased 50 percent or 1 000 annually when Parkview 03 and Frankford hospitals 06 closed Due to the closing at Jeanes in May we plan to absorb 300 500 more admissions While Chestnut Hill Hospital for now doesn t plan to close its program ob gyns have already left For the approximate 1 500 increase in admissions at Einstein from the nearby closures we ll need a major capital investment of more than 10 million to continue our commitment In spite of the many challenges Einstein continues to provide obstetric services We provide care at local

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/AttheCenteroftheBabyCrisis.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Holy Redeemer>
    s and children s services at Holy Redeemer Health System told members of the Pennsylvania House Health and Human Services Committee yesterday Five hospitals near Holy Redeemer have stopped delivering babies and the Meadowbrook facility is coping with the fallout After the latest maternity ward closure at Jeanes Hospital this summer Holy Redeemer spent 3 million on renovations and staff Now it s contemplating 5 million to 8 million more for expansion Thallner asked the lawmakers who already are considering legislation that would boost Medicaid payments to hospitals that treat large numbers of poor mothers to help Holy Redeemer as well The number of Medicaid patients at Holy Redeemer is rising but still below the bill s threshold she said Nonetheless it is suffering because so many other hospitals have given up she said A parade of hospital leaders yesterday told the committee which met at Albert Einstein Medical Center that 14 hospitals have stopped delivering babies in the last decade largely because low Medicaid payments and high malpractice expenses make maternity a money loser Arnold Cohen chair of Einstein s ob gyn department said Einstein loses 4 000 per delivery when the cost of malpractice insurance is considered He and representatives from other hospitals that have continued to deliver babies said they are struggling to care for growing numbers of new mothers and babies A report done for the Philadelphia Health Department this summer by the Drexel University School of Public Health found that the number of maternity beds in Philadelphia and the nearby suburbs is now inadequate The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that maternity units operate at about 75 percent capacity so they can handle surges In 2004 the report found six hospitals had occupancy rates above 85 percent Abington Memorial Einstein Hahnemann University Pennsylvania

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/HolyRedeemer.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <CityEnters>
    Pregnant Women in Prescription for Pennsylvania Midwives Needed Pa Creates New Class of Hospital Payments to Aid Temple Birthing a New Approach to Health Care Philadelphia Must Improve its Maternity Care Pregnant and Uninsured Safe Sleep News Breastfeeding News Other News The Public Record June 28 2007 City Enters Maternity Care Crisis Rory McGlasson The City has taken nine months the time it takes a women to bear a child before stepping up publicly to handle Philadelphia s maternity care crisis Now it appears the Dept of Public Health department has stopped cradling the issue after acting Commissioner Carmen Paris held an emergency meeting with physicians and maternity care providers and advocates Paris wants to create a task force to craft solutions to handle the dilemma If I m a childbearing women in Northeast Philadelphia there is no facility to bear my child said JoAnne Fischer executive director of the Maternity Care Coalition Nine months ago Fischer s organization released a report Childbirth at a Crossroads which identified disturbing trends for childbearing families During that time maternity wards have been closing down all over the city including Jeanes Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia Another in Chestnut Hill is close to shutting down This is now a crisis Commissioner Paris said We need to identify the right solutions She said her immediate aim is to increase the number of maternity beds in hospitals across the city According to Paris the city has 302 beds down from the 317 the City requires She is going to ask the Governor and the State Legislature to push through proposals to provide relief to hospitals that are suffering financially If Chestnut Hill Hospital closes their obstetrics program it will make the 15th maternity closing in 10 years Dr Arnold Cohen chairman of Einstein Medical Center said

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/CityEnters.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <TackleMaternityCrisis>
    resulted from shortages of maternity wards and resources in the city according to JoAnne Fischer executive director of Maternity Care Coalition Yesterday representatives from local healthcare groups convened to discuss forming a task force to tackle the alarming trend of shrinking healthcare options for pregnant women Patients are concerned said acting health commissioner Carmen Paris after a news conference at the Peco Energy building yesterday morning They re afraid of not reaching a bed Members of the task force made up of the Maternity Care Coalition the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council the Midwifery Association and various insurance companies led their own individual battles to combat the dilemma until Paris decided to unite their efforts The group wants to go to Harrisburg to draft a blueprint for short and long term solutions Paris said The group is in the preliminary planning stages We want something to happen by fall Paris said We re doing a cross check of what needs to be addressed Over the span of a decade 12 obstetrics units have closed in the city including Northeast facilities Frankford Hospital and Jeanes Hospital which closed last month With no natal care hospitals remaining in that area patients are forced to travel to not so nearby centers such as Albert Einstein Medical Center Abington Memorial Hospital and Holy Redeemer Health System in Meadowbrook People have made phone calls panicking about changing their physicians and mid wives said JoAnne Fischer executive director of Maternity Care Coalition With only eight remaining maternity wards in the city the strain is being felt Women in some hospitals were forced to cut their hospital stay short after giving birth to free up space for other patients Others have tried to find alternate practices but often were turned away Arnold Cohen chairman of the OBGYN unit

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/TackleMaternityCrisis.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <MaternityBedsShortage>
    officials says the answer is an unqualified yes We are on the verge of a crisis Carmen I Paris the city s interim health commissioner declared yesterday at a news conference held by a new obstetric services task force But that new coalition is seeking help from someone who isn t sure there s a shortage Governor Rendell The governor s policy secretary recently met with task force members and studied the issue concluding earlier this month that there are problems but that we do not see a crisis Since 1997 13 Philadelphia area hospitals have stopped delivering babies including two in the last year The task force says 11 remaining facilities in the city and lower Montgomery County are struggling to pick up the slack But the governor s office looking more broadly at the five county Philadelphia region says supply meets demand Among other differing views The task force says the average obstetric occupancy rate at the 11 hospitals now exceeds the industry recommendation of 75 percent with a few obstetric units averaging more than 100 percent occupancy in 2004 This year 302 beds are available 15 less than the projected need In contrast the governor s office said that although the number of maternity beds in the five counties fell 5 6 percent from 2001 to 2006 demand for beds across all the hospitals does not exceed capacity The task force points out that a large fraction of Philadelphia births more than 12 percent in 2005 are low birth weight or premature and require intensive care but that a recent increase in state square footage requirements make expansion difficult The governor s office said it would explore this issue although neonatal intensive care beds increased in 2006 The task force says births are expected to remain fairly

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