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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield teams up with local EMS provider to offer reimbursement for in-home safety course for new and expectant parents

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

PITTSBURGH (June 3, 2015) — Recognizing that safety really does start at home, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is pleased to announce it will reimburse members for the cost of a program that educates new and expectant parents about potential dangers for their newborns at home and in the car. The Cranberry Township Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Safe Landings Program includes a course taught by its EMS technicians — right at the parents' house — to ensure that, among other things, the home is properly childproofed and car seats are correctly installed.

"We learned about the Safe Landings Program from Allegheny Health Network, which, of course, works closely with numerous EMS agencies throughout the area," said Thomas Pellathy, Highmark's senior vice president for product, network and reimbursement. "With a constant focus on the health and wellness of our members, we saw this program as a great way to help put new and expectant parents at ease, allowing them to be confident that they've taken the right steps to safeguard their homes for their newborns."

Highmark will reimburse the $150 cost of the program for members with individual insurance plans as well as members with employer-sponsored coverage from fully insured group clients in the Pittsburgh area. Cranberry Township's EMS technicians will travel up to 30 miles outside of Cranberry to offer the course. At no additional cost, families who have the Safe Landings Program at their houses can invite up to a dozen friends, relatives and neighbors to observe the course as well.

During the approximately four-hour, in-home visit, a specially trained technician from Cranberry Township EMS will check to make sure the family's home and car are ready for baby. That includes childproofing the home by making parents aware of things like proper placement of cupboard latches, safety gates, edge bumpers, plug covers, window cords and furniture. Additionally, the EMS technician will teach infant CPR and instruct parents on crib safety, including proper positioning of the crib in the room and the infant in the crib. During the visit, the EMS technician will also inspect the child's car seat, making sure it is in good shape and properly installed.

"We established the Safe Landings Program in 2013 as a way for our team to do even more for the community and play an important role in educating new and expectant parents on ways to provide a safer home environment for their newborns," said Cranberry Township EMS Chief Jeff Kelly. "We are thrilled that, with Highmark's support, we will be able to bring this program to more families in our area."

To schedule an appointment, or find out more about the Safe Landings Program, call 724-776-4480, ext. 1902, or send an e-mail to communityparamedicine@cranberryambulance.org.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves approximately 3.2 million members through the company's health care benefits business and employs more than 4,000 people in western Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
For more information, contact:
Adrienne Baldini
Highmark Health
412-544-4369
adrienne.baldini@highmarkhealth.org