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Pediatric Healthcare Associates

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Medicaid Husky B, also known as Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a national program which as been around for many years has been routinely funded by the Congress.  However, this year, because of all the current political issues in Washington, for the first time ever, the program has yet to be funded by the September 30, 2017, deadline.  While there is still time for Congress to fund this program, the current contract will run out by December 31, 2017.

Although we are hopeful that the Congress will do its duty and fund the program before the year is out, it is important that those of you who rely on Husky B, understand that you may not have health insurance for your children starting January 1, 2018.  If you have a secondary insurance, you may be partially covered.

In light of this we are encouraging you, who are insured under Medicaid Husky B (CHIP), to make sure your children are up to date for their checkups and well-care before December 31, 2017, as you will still be covered.  Also, if there are medications that your children require, please let us know as soon as possible, so we can get refills out to you before the end of the year.

We are hopeful this upsetting situation will be resolved before the end of the year, but we feel it is important that you be aware of the possible loss of your children’s insurance coverage.  As we get more information from the state over the next couple of weeks, we will let you know.

As always, your children’s care and health is our number one priority.

This change does not apply to those covered under Medicaid Part A also known as Husky A; coverage under Medicaid Part A also known as Husky A will remain intact.

Sincerely,

Your health team at PHA

Soldier Support Packages

THANK YOU for helping us achieve another successful Supply Drive for our Troops!  Carol Weinshel picked up the supplies today that have been generously donated by our patients, staff and doctors.  Carol will definitely be busy for awhile creating Support Packages for the troops, just in time for the holidays.  Thank you again to everyone that donated!!


Dr. Odinak helping Carol fill the car with supplies.

 

 

 

Physician’s Open House

On Thursday evening October 12, Pediatric Healthcare Associates, at 50 Unquowa Place, Fairfield, CT – on the site of the old Blinn’s Toy Store – hosted a Physician’s Open House to celebrate the one year anniversary of opening our doors in downtown Fairfield.  The office is the product of a merger of PHA‘s former Southport and Tunxis Hill offices.  PHA is an independent pediatric group providing patient-centered, evidence-based, quality care for our patients, from infancy through young adulthood, through compassion, collaboration, and open communication with our families and the community.  We have been treating children for over 50 years in Fairfield County.

In addition to providing complete medical care to the children in the community, in the Fairfield office PHA offers concussion care and management, lactation counseling, and sports medicine.  We also offer free prenatal classes to first time expectant parents, and for new parents in the practice, breastfeeding classes, and Mommy, Daddy & Me drop in classes.  For more information about the practice please call (203) 452-8322.

 

Child Car Seat Update

NEW Connecticut State Law
Effective October 1, 2017

  • Infants must be in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years of age AND 30 pounds.
  • Children 2 years of age (and 30 pounds) to 5 years of age (and 40 pounds) must ride facing forward with a 5 point harness.
  • Older children must be in a booster seat until they are at least 8 years of age and a minimum of 60 pounds.

For more helpful and detailed safety information please visit http://www.ctsafekids.org/

 

Behavioral and Developmental Care and Questionnaire

Over the last several years across the country, there has been a significant increase in concerns regarding behavioral and developmental challenges facing our children and their families.  The issues of anxiety, depression, family disruptions and substance abuse, as well as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities and other developmental disabilities, affect our patients and their families not infrequently.  We at PHA, as pediatric clinicians, have been working in concert with our national organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, to increase our abilities to better recognize these issues, so as to be able to provide better care to our patients and their families when dealing with these concerns.

As part of this effort, we have been utilizing a number of nationally accepted screening questionnaires that we ask parents and patients to complete when your children and adolescents come in for their checkups.  Research studies have shown that by the use of these questionnaires, we are able to identify and address behavioral and developmental concerns more effectively than in the past.  Our experience agrees with these studies, and we feel the quality of care for our patients in these areas has improved significantly.  We have been able to  identify important issues that might have been missed previously in the routine conversations that occur in the office visit.  As a result, over the last year, we have hired two mental health specialists to join our PHA team in order to improve access to behavioral and developmental care.

Traditionally insurance companies have provided less than optimal coverage for mental health and developmental issues, and we have worked with many of you to argue, appeal, and, at times, fight with your insurance companies to get you the best mental health and developmental services available.  The reimbursed fee is dictated to us by the insurance companies and there is little consistency between insurance plans and policies.  To provide our families with awareness, we distribute a written notification to all parents at the time of the checkups, when we are administering the questionnaires, indicating that your insurance may not cover the fee, but still share in your frustration if it does not.

As we all know from our local and national media, the solutions to these healthcare financing challenges are incredibly complex.  However, there have been positive outcomes when the public reaches out to their local and State representatives and insurance companies.  Your efforts can make a difference as we work together to provide the most comprehensive and up to date care to our children as possible.

We hope this explanation answers some of your questions about the importance of these questionnaires.  Our mission is to provide you and your children the best pediatric care available.

 

Thank you,

Your Care Team at PHA

Pre-Concussion Screening aka Baseline ImPACT Testing

What is Pre-Concussion Screening (Baseline ImPACT Test) & why is it important?

  • The test is to establish a baseline for future use in helping to determine the best post-concussion treatment if your child should be injured in a sporting or non-sporting event.
  • ImPACT does not diagnose a concussion, but informs the provider if there is a change in the way your child’s brain functions after an injury.
  • Baseline scores are valid for two years and must be repeated if two years have lapsed.

What is ImPACT testing?

  • ImPACT testing is a computerized brain measurement tool for children and teens who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (concussion).
  • Through a series of computerized tests, completed in our office, ImPACT identifies subtle changes in brain function, evaluates post-injury condition, and tracks recovery.
  • By comparing baseline (pre-injury) and post-injury test results, ImPACT can help track recovery following a concussion.

How does ImPACT work?

  • An ImPACT is a 25 minute computerized assessment test that evaluates multiple aspects of brain functions including; verbal memory, visual memory, processing speed, reaction time and post-concussive symptoms.
  • By comparing baseline (pre-injury) and post-injury test results, it helps determine when brain function has returned to normal and if it is safe to return to sports and school activities.

Who can take the ImPACT test?

  • PHA and the CDC recommend that all students athletes age 11 and older (for example: football players, soccer players, hockey players, baseball players, rugby players, cheerleaders, softball players, skateboarders, gymnasts, lacrosse players, cyclists and skiers) take the test.

How can my child get tested?

  • Call PHA (203) 452-8322 for an appointment
  • The Baseline ImPACT Test costs $25.00.  The test is not covered by insurance and payment is due at time of service.

School Supply Drive

While starting a new school year can be exciting for many kids, it can also be stressful for families when they are faced with the expense of buying new clothes, shoes, and other supplies.  Pediatric Healthcare Associates is once again hosting a School Supply Drive to help these students who can’t afford school supplies start the school year equipped to succeed!   All donations will be given to needy children in our area.

Supplies needed to fill backpacks (NEW items only):

  • crayons
  • pencils
  • pens
  • scissors
  • rulers
  • erasers
  • markers
  • glue sticks
  • notepads
  • colored pencils

Donations can be dropped off at any of our 5 offices through Friday, August 18, 2017.