We had a beautiful, breezy spring day for our May 13th meeting. We opened with an announcement for Family Fun Night at Weldon Rehab, held on June 2. We hope there was a good turnout for this event. Health fair season is upon us. Encourage your families to get out and learn about support services!
Jane O’Brien is providing care coordination at the Baystate Children’s Specialty Center on 50 Wason Ave in Springfield. The Pediatric Ambulatory Care Coordination program (PACC) supports families by arranging for timely appointments with a child’s specialists, handling insurance paperwork and approvals, facilitating communication between the pediatrician, specialists and the family, and arranging follow-up care if a child is admitted to the hospital.
After Jane spoke, we had some discussion about registering complaints for PT 1 services. Several people talked about the differences between medical transport and ADA transport. PT 1 services are free while ADA services come with a small cost. The advantage to ADA services is that it is easier to get approved. PVTA is encouraging everyone to take regular transport. Families need to prove that there are barriers to taking a bus. For example, poor sidewalks or having a parent with a disability are reasons why a family might need PT 1 or ADA service. If your families have appointments at Shriners, they qualify for free transport. The general consensus was that we should address transportation issues in our 2015-2016 series of meetings.
Myra Camilleri-Erlynne spoke about services available through Baystate Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. This practice does evaluations and testing for global developmental delays, co-morbidities with psycho-sensory disorders, ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities. The Growth and Nutrition Clinic evaluates children from 0-6 years old for feeding disorders. Families are supported by a developmental pediatrician, a nutritionist and an occupational therapist.
Myra’s presentation sparked a conversation about insurance coverage for pediatric neuro-psych testing. If a child is not experiencing seizures or similar incidents, insurance may be denied for testing. In general, there are large gaps in pediatric behavioral health services, especially in the Ware area and in the Berkshires.
Our last presentation was from local nurse and dad of two special needs kids, Eric Volz-Benoit. Eric works for Centrus Home Care and is participating in a leadership program. He is hoping to start an “Operation House Call” type of program in Western Massachusetts. Operation House Call is a partnership between The Arc of Massachusetts and medical/nursing schools. The goal is to help health care providers gain confidence and skill in treating medically complex children by exposing them to the home life of our families. This is a win-win situation, as increasing the knowledge of health care providers will help parents relax and have confidence in treatment plans.
Our last meeting of the year is Wed, June 10 from 9:15-10:30am. See you there!
Here’s the magical story of Baystate Children’s Specialty Pediatrics: