Systematic Changes to Help Parents of Medically Complex Infants Manage Medical Expenses

Sunday, December 17, 2017
Publication cover image
Judith Carter
Boston Children's Hospital
Noel Dwyer
Boston Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Julie Roselund
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Karen Cote
Boston Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Phoebe Chase
Boston Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Kathleen Martorana
Boston Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Kathryn Gustafson
Boston Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Emily Bergling
Boston Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Radhika Kamalia
Boston Children's Hospital Department of Medicine Quality Program
Michele DeGrazia
Boston Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

A team from UMass Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital collaborated on a quality improvement initiative seeking to increase and facilitate timely parent referrals to health benefits coordinators. For parents of medically complex newborns, financial obligations can become an unnecessary source of a great deal of stress. There were a number of financial resources in place to support parents of medically complex children, but the systems that connected parents to these services were not very strong. Partnerships between neonatal intensive care unit nurses and financial support personnel improved access to financial assistance for families.

Researchers implemented a Plan-Do-Study Act framework and revised the Boston Children's Hospitals current system. After their framework was put into place, a substantial increase in the percentage of HBC referrals was observed. An increase from preimplementation of less than 5% to a sustained average of 90% occurred.