U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, today joined with doctors and staff at Women & Infants Hospital to discuss health insurance reform and the award of a $3.2 million federal Health Care Innovation grant to support the expansion of Women & Infants' Transition Home Plus Program. The federal funding from the Affordable Care Act will allow Women & Infants to expand its services and improve care for new mothers and pre-term babies.
The Transition Home Plus Program helps premature infants who are at increased risk of medical, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental problems once they are discharged from the hospital. The program helps families transition from the hospital to their homes and providing this type of transitional assistance has a proven track record of improving infant health and reducing the risk of rehospitalization, while lowering the cost of care. Over a three-year period, Women & Infants will train an estimated 120 health care workers and create an estimated 13 new jobs to help serve about 2,400 mothers and babies in Rhode Island. The program is expected to save approximately $3.7 million over the three-year award period.
Under the leadership of Betty Vohr, MD, medical director of the Neonatal Follow-Up Program in the Department of Pediatrics at Women & Infants Hospital and professor of pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, the federal grant will be used to train and deploy Family Care Teams to offer education and support and monitor infants' growth and development.
To date, Rhode Island has received more than $145 million in Affordable Care Act funds to upgrade our health infrastructure, invest in new technologies, and ease the burden of retiree health insurance costs. The law is already providing Rhode Islanders with new benefits, like preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs, allowing young adults to remain on their parents' insurance, and tax credits to help small businesses offer coverage to their employees.