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Thursday, June 29, 2006 


Thursday, June 29, 2006


New model on healthcare service for expectant moms
By Rebecca Banuchi

SAN JUAN (AP) – With the intention of improving prenatal and pediatric care on the island, insurance companies within the health reform plan are planning to adopt a new model that has already been successful on the mainland U.S.

Patients’ Advocate Luz Teresa Amador on Wednesday said the new model was developed by the Center for Healthcare Strategies, which is a non-profit organization headquartered in New Jersey. The model was first implemented in 1998 and can already be found in 37 U.S. jurisdictions.

This new approach helps expectant mothers receive prenatal care during the first trimester of their pregnancies as well as pediatric care for the first three years of a baby’s life.

Amador stressed the importance of this new service in Puerto Rico, where 20% of expectant mothers don’t go to their obstetrician during the first three months of pregnancy and less than 30% of babies who are born with congenital deficiencies are identified before they reach school age.

The agency chief also said Puerto Rico has the highest rate of premature births in the U.S.
Amador said these visits during the first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy is crucial in identifying not just clinical risks, but other potential problems such as domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness, which could all contribute to a premature birth and other complications.


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