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  • <FewerPlacestoBirth>
    Chestnut Hill Hospital The Maternity Ward Blues MOMobile Staff Fears Turn Taken By Maternity Units Alarming News for Childbearing Families Remember ALL 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 Metro Philadelphia June 27 2007 Fewer Spots In Philadelphia To Have A Baby By Metro PHILADELPHIA There s a reason it s not called the City of Maternal Love Philadelphia s Health Commissioner Carmen Paris gathered some of the city s health care leaders yesterday where they drafted a statement acknowledging the city s growing maternity ward crisis A report was also released in conjunction with Drexel University that detailed just how dire the maternity needs have become in the city According to the report there were 22 038 births in 1997 and 21 585 in 2004 The amount of available maternity beds in the city however dwindled during that time span from 649 in 1997 to 422 in 2004 There are currently only 302 available maternity beds in hospitals across the city but 317 are needed to meet acceptable occupancy standards The number of hospitals offering maternity care has dropped as well A few years ago Philadelphia had 24 hospitals that delivered babies Today there are just 11 leaving many pregnant women with little to no choice on where to give birth The hospitals are running out of capacity said Letty Thall public policy director for Maternity Care Coalition an organization that advocates for women s and infants health care There are less childbirth practitioners now then before both obstetricians and midwives Hospitals have decided maternity care is not as profitable as other specialties said Thall

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/FewerPlacestoBirth.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <OBAdvocates>
    The release also quoted Patricia Bailey M D surgeon and chair of the obstetrical program review committee who said the challenges we face to maintain OB care however are significant In the wake of the continuing crisis as the situation has been called women s health advocates are making sure legislators know there is an expectation that the government will step up and financially help the area s obstetric programs On Tuesday June 12 about 20 advocates from southeastern Pennsylvania attended a rally in Harrisburg organized by State Sen Leanna Washington D 4 Women advocates and politicians took to the podium and explained why funding for the area s obstetrics programs are needed Joining Washington at the demonstration were four senators and five representatives including local legislators Sen Shirley Kitchen D 3 and Reps Cherelle Parker D 200 and Rosita Youngblood D 198 Ellen Felley a doula a woman who provides emotional support to a mother to be in Chestnut Hill that has advocated for government support attended the rally because she is wary of the hospital s plans to keep the obstetrics program open She said that without political support financial backing from the government is unlikely and the hospital s program is doomed to close Turkel basically said in his statement that we re open but only for now she said That s why we went for the big guys On May 29 Sen Jane Clare Orie R 40 introduced Senate Bill 904 which will provide 15 million in state and request 18 million in federal funding to obstetrics programs in Pennsylvania hospitals that have a high volume of obstetrics and neonatal intensive care cases covered by Medicaid as opposed to private insurers A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep Kathy Manderino D 194 on June 7 Both bills were being discussed in committee as of June 15 But Letty Thall public policy director of Maternity Care Coalition said the proposed legislation was not enough The money would only be provided after the hospital serviced the woman she said and therefore wouldn t have saved programs such as at Jeanes Hospital which closed its obstetrics program this May Thall said And if the bill passes it certainly won t benefit Chestnut Hill Hospital which with only about 1 200 births a year does not meet the criteria for the funding She said funding should be provided to programs based solely on individual births It would provide some relief Thall said But we need legislation to have the money following the woman not following the institution Felley agreed Medicaid needs to follow the mother so it goes where it is needed she said But providing more Medicaid is not all that can be done to sustain obstetrics programs Thall and Felley explained Thall said insurance reimbursement in both the private and public sector should be transparent She said reimbursement is inconsistent among hospitals since each program negotiates its own contract with the insurance providers Knowing the

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/OBAdvocates.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Closings are Hitting Northeast Hardest>
    if this doesn t work out I m probably out of luck Milicia 54 had spent most of his career in Center City at Hahnemann University Hospital when in 2001 Tenet Healthcare Corp Hahnemann s owner cut loose its employed physicians as part of a corporate cost cutting action Unable to afford the escalating malpractice premiums hitting his specialty particularly hard Milicia took a job with Frankford Hospitals Torresdale division Frankford was covering the malpractice insurance premiums for its obstetrician gynecologists which Milicia estimated at between 140 000 and 160 000 a year Frankford announced in late 2005 it was closing its obstetrics unit because of changing demographics resulting in more older patients and rising professional liability costs Milicia then switched to Jeanes where he became an employee of Temple Physicians Inc the physician practice arm of the Temple University Health System He was among a growing number of obstetricians that helped Jeanes increase its deliveries to more than 1 300 a year but the doctors became victims of their own success We were told Jeanes was losing 2 million a year on its OB services and that it could not afford to spend the 10 million needed for renovations to create more space for the department Milicia said After Jeanes announced earlier this year it was closing its obstetrics department effective the end of May Milicia moved quickly to secure one of two open slots at Northeastern which is also part of the Temple system Under the new arrangement Milicia is keeping his practice open on Bustleton Avenue in the Northeast but he ll be delivering babies at Northeastern in the Port Richmond section of the city The response from his pregnant patients has been mixed About half have said they ll follow me to Northeastern another 25 percent have said Forget it I m not going down there and the other 25 percent are still looking around to see what their options are he said Five or six of his colleagues from Jeanes are still searching for new hospitals with which to affiliate I think they thought it would be easy to go out and find another hospital but now they are starting to get panicky because there s nothing out there he said Milicia said for now there is still an adequate supply of obstetricians left in Northeast Philadelphia Finding an obstetrician is not a problem he said The problem is when you can be seen Some women have to wait two months for a visit I think what you are going to see is more women coming into hospital emergency rooms unregistered and in labor The doctor won t know her and she won t know the doctor It s a scary time to have a baby Hospital OB capacity has shrunk by 28 percent in southeastern Pennsylvania during the past decade according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health The medical journal Health Affairs released a study last week that the number of ob gyns is

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/ClosingsareHittingNortheastHardest.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Labor Pains>
    closed cutting the area s offerings by 28 percent according to a September 2006 study by the Maternity Care Coalition MCC a Philadelphia based group advocating for children and women s health through pregnancy That number will reach 14 at the end of May when Temple University Health System s Jeanes Hospital in Fox Chase closes its OB program Jeanes closing will leave 28 hospitals and two birthing centers in the area which in a year will deliver the more than 50 000 babies in southeastern Pennsylvania about 20 000 of them in the city of Philadelphia But health care is not a normal business in which demand of a service ensures success of that business There may be plenty of mothers to be looking for care yet obstetrics programs are facing big financial challenges from soaring malpractice rates and low health care reimbursement Earlier this month Chestnut Hill Hospital riled mothers and health care advocates when it announced the administration was reviewing the fate of its OB program The review is ongoing and a hospital spokesperson has said that doesn t mean the program will close but Brooks Turkel Chestnut Hill Health System CEO says obstetrics programs are financially straining services to provide Obstetrics has a very small profit margin says Deborah A Driscoll professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Pennsylvania Add malpractice concerns and programs that deliver fewer than 2 000 babies a year cannot survive In fact Nancy Kirsh executive director of The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr says the center s malpractice premium jumped 93 percent this year It s hard to absorb that kind of increase she says Compounding that reimbursements from both public and private insurance cover only part of the costs For obstetrics reimbursement is particularly low because care is labor intensive a 22 hour labor and delivery will be reimbursed the same as a two hour delivery says William F McCool director and associate professor of Penn s midwifery graduate program He also says there is less chance of surgery and extensive use of medical equipment services that could lead to higher reimbursement With high costs closing some hospital programs those remaining face overcrowding which hurts the quality of care it can even lead to the shuttering of some programs like Jeanes It may be more difficult for patients to receive early prenatal care there will be limited access to care Driscoll says Some hospitals may not have the physical capacity to care for an increased number of patients Ellen Felley a doula who has participated in more than 400 deliveries in Philly area hospitals says obstetrics programs will become unreliable as they overcrowd We turn our lives over to the experts there But women can t depend on their hospitals anymore to provide birthing care she says We need to have healthy babies and healthy mommies Felley and Muhammad agree that the health of both the mother and baby could suffer because of overcrowding

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/LaborPains.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <OB Review>
    amount was confidential and Turkel said it would be invested in the hospital The sale was not discussed openly at Thursday s rally although if demonstrators were aware of the sale it might have been brought up as an option to help save the OB program As of Monday no decision had been made about the hospital s obstetrics yet Anything could come out of the review said Iaquinto who said last week that the program could be changed remain the same or closed as part of the review Although there was talk among hospital employees that a decision would be made at an April 7 meeting of the hospital s board of trustees Turkel said at the rally that the review will not be complete for another six to eight weeks But the fear of community members and hospital employees is that the obstetrics program will follow the trend of other hospitals in the region by closing the door on the program In the past decade hospitals around the area have closed their OB programs tightening options and space for the city s childbearing patients In October Maternity Care Coalition an organization that supports pregnant women and their families released a report called Childbirth at a Crossroads The report found that the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania has 25 percent fewer maternity care facilities than it had in 1990 Since 1997 13 hospitals in the Delaware Valley have ended their obstetrics units reported the MCC Adding to that number Jeanes Hospital owned by Temple University Health Systems announced that it would be closing its OB program in May Spokesperson for Temple University Health Systems Rebecca Harmon said one of the reasons for the closure is because the hospital s delivery numbers have nearly doubled in the past two years due to other closures in the area We received an explosion in volume said Harmon We didn t physically have the room for patients Abington Hospital which already delivers about 4 500 babies a year according to spokesperson Lisa Durst Hestnar is preparing for the flood of clients expected when Jeanes closes The potential closing has a real effect on this city not just in this community said Kathleen Furin director of the Maternal Wellness Center in Mt Airy Even Turkel recognized the city s problem There is no question in my mind that this is a crisis he said during his brief speech at the rally With OB programs closing and options narrowing for Philadelphia s childbearing women community members have asked why would Chestnut Hill Hospital which already has a glowing reputation in its obstetrics not take advantage of the situation and expand its program Since 2000 the number of obstetricians in the region has dropped by one third according to Priscilla Koutsouradis spokesperson for the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of The Hospital Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania Since 1980 graduating medical students choosing obstetrics and gynecology has dropped almost 50 percent reported MCC William McCool director of the midwifery

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/OBReview.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <KYW Interview Chestnut Hill>
    Protest at Chestnut Hill Hospital The Maternity Ward Blues MOMobile Staff Fears Turn Taken By Maternity Units Alarming News for Childbearing Families Remember ALL 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 KYW News Radio April 6 2007 Maternity Care Coalition Holds Protest at Chestnut Hill Hospital David Madden About a hundred people rallied outside Chestnut Hill Hospital amid rumors the facility may shut down its maternity ward in the name of economy The hospital counters that it s only conducting a review of the program A top administrator at the hospital in charge of obstetrics is retiring and so the board is reviewing the program to decide where to go next But in these days of skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates it s no easy call Bette Begleiter is with the Maternity Care Coalition If Chestnut Hill Hospital decides to close its OB services and we really hope they won t this will make it the 15th hospital in this region to close down their OB services

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/KYWInterviewChestnutHill.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <Maternity-Ward blues>
    closed its maternity ward in June Jeanes Hospital absorbed many of those deliveries then announced in February that it will close its obstetrics unit on May 30 The thousands of pregnant women who would have delivered at those hospitals will have to find other places to have their babies and those hospitals in turn will find themselves overcrowded and under compensated for the care they provide It s a cascading effect that endangers both babies and their mothers as fewer receive pre natal and postpartum care A report by the Maternity Care Coalition last year described a situation that followed the closing of an obstetrics unit One hospital nearby had so many births it was without incubators for newborn babies while three miles away many incubators were empty in the closed facility With fewer obstetrics units even more obstetrician gynecologists will abandon the region Since 2001 according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health nearly a third of the area s ob gyns have left or stopped practicing obstetrics The loss of these doctors could affect the health of many other women since ob gyns often are the only doctors many women see for cancer screenings and general health care There s a crisis in the maternity business in large part because health care is run like a business subject to market dynamics rather than to the needs of the community In obstetrics the law of supply and demand is turned inside out While the demand essentially has stayed the same about 50 000 babies are born each year in the region the supply of maternity beds continues to go down and down There are at least 260 fewer maternity beds in southeastern Pennsylvania than there were 10 years ago according to the Delaware Valley Hospital Council Delivering babies is nowhere

    Original URL path: http://www.momobile.org/Maternity-Wardblues.html (2016-05-02)
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  • <MOMobile Staff fears>
    part of its outreach efforts published a report of its study of the state of childbirth options and care in Southeastern Pennsylvania In the preface to the report MCC executive director JoAnne Fischer stated While it may be premature to say that we are in a health care crisis for childbearing families we are indeed at a crossroads In this region the planned May 31 shutdown of Jeanes OB unit has changed all that said Letty Thall We are no longer at a crossroads It s a crisis said Thall MCC s director of research education and advocacy during an interview in the Northeast Philadelphia MOMobile office MCC is a non profit organization that seeks to improve maternal and child health and well being with outreach primarily in high risk neighborhoods and advocacy at the local state and national levels The MOMobile is its signature program relying on vans to 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 You may never need us but it s always good to have that safety net Stewart said The Northeast MOMobile and its 400 to 500 clients most with limited means will be directly impacted by the end of maternity services at Jeanes MCC officials say The majority of women seen at the health center take SEPTA and would find it difficult to make their way to suburban hospitals even if they weren t in labor at the time the coalition contends Not all of the hospitals accept Keystone Mercy Health Plan the Medicaid

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