INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (May 11, 2021) – CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan, has launched a new program in partnership with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health that will provide mothers of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) babies with free baby scales in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scales will be available for all CareSource Medicaid members across the state of Indiana.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused new mothers and parents to face barriers to care. Weekly visits to a doctor’s office for a simple weigh-in became difficult and posed a threat to the health and safety of new parents and NICU babies of being exposed to COVID-19 in the doctor's office. In response, CareSource has partnered with J&B Medical to provide these scales, typically not covered by health insurance.
“We are thrilled to launch this program, as it is our job to keep our members as safe as possible during the ongoing pandemic,” said Dr. Cameual Wright, Market Chief Medical Officer for CareSource Indiana. “It is a high priority for CareSource to reduce exposure to COVID-19 among new parents and babies while providing them the necessary means of ensuring their child’s health from the safety of their homes.”
Members will be provided with a brand-new scale purchased by CareSource. The scale will be the members to keep, eliminating the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the case of a rental. The scales are consumer grade, allowing for easy use for all families. J&B Medical has also committed to performing troubleshooting with customers if needed to ensure the ease of the launch of this program. It is then the provider’s responsibility to reinforce instructions for proper use.
Infants who have medical conditions that may affect their growth and ability to thrive are eligible to receive the scale. Individual providers will then make the ultimate decision regarding who is most appropriate to receive the equipment. There is no prior authorization for the scale. Providers simply complete a form to send to the vendor, who then sends the scale to the member’s home. This process has been developed in order to eliminate any barriers for members, as no action will be required of them to receive the product.
“Families with new babies have a lot on their plate between feedings, diaper changes and laundry,” said Emily Scott, MD, FAAP, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Indiana University Health. “It can be difficult for families of infants to get to doctor’s appointments, especially if the baby needs to be seen frequently due to problems gaining weight. When we are able to provide infant scales for families to use at home, medical teams can monitor weight gain easily through virtual visits without the family having to travel in for an appointment. The ability to provide infant scales to families is a game-changer in evaluating babies in a family-friendly way.”
The program is available now to all CareSource Indiana Medicaid members.