Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Beyond Drive-Through Deliveries

Academic journal article The Hastings Center Report

Beyond Drive-Through Deliveries

Article excerpt

Many states have recently passed legislation requiring insurance companies to pay for at least two days of in-hospital postpartum care; other states and the Congress are likely to soon make such care mandatory nationwide. Yet, as was frequently noted at a recent meeting organized by Health Resources and Services Administration in Washington, D.C., "Beyond the 4th Dimension: Assuring Quality Health Care for Mom and Babies," not all problems associated with a twenty-four-hour discharge can be fixed merely by requiring one additional day in the hospital. There needs to be an investment in services so that "HMO" means "Help Mom Out" not "Heave Mom Out."

Over eighty practitioners, researchers, and advocates in pediatrics, obstetrics, and public health examined state-the-art perinatal systems, timing of hospital discharge, and clinical judgment. Although there was unanimous agreement that more research was needed, there were mixed opinions about whether the emphasis should be on specific biomedical interventions or broader changes in the provision of care.

Early the first day, a congressional aide, wary of too much government involvement, posed the question: "Do we want to set precedents in how we set limits on health plans? …

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