schedule and conduct site visits.
What’s unique about the AAP verification pro-
gram is that it also adds constructive feedback and
recognition of exemplary care, Dr. Hankins said.
“We’re trying to be very consultative and helpful,”
he said. “It’s the Medicaid 52% that’s driving this
program, but we think it’s an opportunity to raise
the bar for 100% of the babies in Texas.”
Neonatologists, nurses and pediatric surgeons
helped to create program materials and are con-
ducting the verification site visits. Survey teams for
level IV NICUs and level III NICUs where neonatal
surgery is provided are comprised of a neonatologist,
neonatal nurse and when relevant, a pediatric sur-
geon, Dr. Stark said. Surgeons do not accompany the
teams to sites that do not perform surgery or those
that have been verified by the American College of
Surgeons (ACS) Children’s Surgery Program.
As they developed the program, the AAP team
studied other health care organizations’ verification
programs, including the ACS and the American
College of Pathologists, which has a mandatory
Laboratory Accreditation Program.
Now, the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists is looking to the Academy as it de-
velops an obstetrics verification program in Texas,
Dr. Hankins noted.
“This is a great opportunity for the Academy to
help lead the groundswell of improving the care for
pediatric patients and standardizing expectations
across the spectrum,” he said. “We all know transporting babies is safest in mom. That’s when you
reach the secret sauce of having the best plan for
every pregnancy, when you can put the continuum
together and get the right patient with the right care
in the right place.”