St. Johns, FL (PRWEB) August 02, 2012
A medically fragile child has unique needs that require skilled medical attention. This child may need apnea monitoring, oxygen administration, tube feedings, IV medication, tracheostomy care, or ventilator management. Whether temporary or short term, this means financial and time commitment from parents who may have to hire in-home nursing care, or otherwise postpone work or studies to stay home full time and attend to these needs. It also usually means social isolation for the child.
In Florida, these families have another answer – a little-known solution, which happens to also be 100% covered by Medicaid, for those who are eligible.
Florida has passed legislation and initiated a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care program (PPEC) to provide a cost effective alternative to private duty nursing or institutionalization and reduce the isolation that homebound children may experience. Caregiver Services, Inc. (CSI), a leading provider of caregiving services and Florida’s largest nurse registry, has been a pioneer in this program and developed meticulously appointed centers through its CSI-Special Care division to provide medical and therapeutic care in a friendly and nurturing environment. Licensed and regulated by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), CSI’s PPEC centers are staffed by highly skilled and qualified nursing professionals and therapists, and offer up to 12 hours of daily health-focused care and therapy services. Already successfully operating in the southern part of Florida, CSI has opened centrally located centers in Jacksonville, near the downtown Wolfson Children’s Hospital, and in Fruit Cove, near Orange Park, just south of I-295. For the surrounding communities, convenient transportation to and from these centers is available.
“My grandson has a tracheostomy and a feeding tube and has received specialized attention from the nurses at CSI-Special Care,” said Janice Chappell, grandmother and caregiver to a patient. “Therapies for my grandson are received right there in the center, and the nurses are very attentive. They have actually helped in the progression of my grandson’s mobility. I know that I can drop him off in the mornings and be confident that he is receiving the best care possible.”
Pediatric physicians are turning to PPECs as solutions for their patients and prescribing their services. The PPECs represent a less costly alternative to in-home care or hospitalization and provide social stimulation and peer interaction in a daycare setting.
“Our PPECs are not only for medically-complex children who have conditions more chronic in nature. Though we certainly have the skilled staff to manage these conditions, many of our patients require less complex supervision such as apnea monitoring or administration of small amounts of oxygen, routines that are not handled at regular daycares due to liability issues,” explained Jane Park, RN, Director of Pediatric Services at CSI. “Some of our children simply need three or six-month skilled observation, perhaps because of feeding issues or a failure to thrive.” CSI’s Fruit Cove PPEC can take children by the hour, by the day, by the week, or on a longer-term basis. In addition to Medicaid, Private Pay is also accepted. Many stay-at-home parents find great comfort in leaving their medically dependent child for the day under the care of skilled, compassionate nursing, while they run errands or have a respite.
The PPEC’s operated by CSI are not only fulfilling a much underserved need in the St. Johns and Duval communities. At the Fruit Cove location, they are also fostering better pediatric nursing care. CSI works with local nursing education programs to use the PPEC as part of their pediatric clinical rotation. “Our CSI nurses working at the PPEC talk and teach, as they perform their routines, to provide nursing students rotating through our center an in-depth understanding of the care of medically-complex children,” stated Jane Park, RN.
CSI has been a multi-faceted provider of caregivers and caregiving services for 45 years with a current network of 5,000 active caregivers and a service footprint covering most of Florida. In addition to providing for the unique medical needs of the pediatric population, CSI offers in-home care using qualified nurses and aides, specialty care through its Medicare/Medicaid Home Health Agency, and a full range of health-related professional staffing to leading healthcare providers through its CSI Staffing division.
The Jacksonville PPEC is located at 1855 5A Cassat Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32210 and can be reached at 904-334-8103. The Fruit Cove PPEC is located at 540 State Road 13N, Suite 104, St. Johns, FL 32259 and can be reached at 904-380-8522. Both centers are open from 6am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, except holidays. For additional information about the PPECs or CSI, call 877-CAREGIVER, or visit the CSI website at http://www.csicaregiver.com. License No. PPEC60080998 and PPEC60080994.