Both Louisiana and the nation have experienced declines in teen birth rates over the past decade, and Secretary Rebekah Gee of the Department of Health and Hospitals says that’s something to celebrate. Teen girls who become mothers are much less likely to complete high school. Teen fathers also see a decline in graduation rates.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), the Louisiana March of Dimes and a group of Louisiana hospitals announced a new, voluntary 40-Week Initiative today. The Go the Full 40 Initiative is a voluntary pledge by hospitals to end non-medically indicated induced pregnancies, which helps reduce c-section rates and ensures newborns reach 40 weeks gestation.
A press conference with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), Louisiana March of Dimes and representatives from Louisiana hospitals to announce new efforts to support healthy birth outcomes across the state.
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Secretary Kathy H. Kliebert joined officials from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, and other health care leaders today in announcing a payment reform that will help Louisiana newborns have a head start on a healthy life. Effective Sept. 1, 2014, Blue Cross and Louisiana Medicaid will no longer pay for elective, medically unnecessary births of infants before 39 weeks of gestation. The change is expected to reduce the number of early elective deliveries by providers across the state and to reduce the number of costly health complications that lead many infants to have preventable medical challenges.
The [Best Fed Beginnings] program’s major goal is to increase the number of breastfed babies. The $6 million initiative began last year and will conclude in September 2014. The 89 participating hospitals must complete the American Academy of Pediatrics-endorsed Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding program. By doing so, they will receive a “baby-friendly” designation from the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund.