Legislative Issues on Premature Babies
Reducing Preterm Births in Illinois: Prematurity Task Force Report
With a renewed national focus on prematurity by public health organizations, and the severe global toll of preterm birth, the Illinois General Assembly recently passed House Joint Resolution 111. The resolution stipulated that the Perinatal Advisory Committee of the Illinois Department of Public Health submit a written report providing findings and recommendations concerning the reduction of preterm births in Illinois. The report was intended to raise the awareness of policy makers, advocacy groups, providers, and the public about this serious problem, and to recommend proven strategies to move Illinois towards the reduction of premature births. The Perinatal Advisory Committee outlined seven recommendations with background, rationale, and required actions.
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Hospital Discharge and Follow-Up Care for Premature Infants
Advocates seek to improve the continuity of care of premature infants from discharge to the community pediatrician. Key legislative initiatives include promoting state Medicaid focus on premature infant care by:
- Facilitating the state’s review of existing hospital discharge and follow-up care procedures and taking steps to improve and standardize processes that support patient tracking and compliance with care
- Reporting of premature infant re-hospitalization rates and causes
- Supporting the CMS Neonatal Outcomes Improvement Project
State Prematurity Task Forces Encouraged
To establish standards of care for premature infants, make recommendations on hospital discharge policies and care follow-up, and urge hospitals to report re-hospitalizations of premature infants.
Adequate Reimbursement and Prior Authorization
Ensuring patient access by adequately reimbursing providers and specialty care pharmacies for their products and services and by removing cumbersome prior authorizations is critical to reducing barriers for this fragile patient population.