Paying for HIE future care is a concern for many parents, as the cost in general for medical care in the United States can be staggering, especially for long term care conditions. For some of the families who contact us, especially when they think that their baby’s HIE diagnosis was through no fault of their own, trying to deal with the costs of future care is of serious concern, and rightfully so!
Below I will discuss one tool that HIE and birth trauma attorneys use when advocating on behalf of a baby and family. Although sometimes government aid can be offered, there can limits to this aid and other stipulations, in some cases.
WHY WILL SOME HIE BABIES NEED HELP WITH FUTURE CARE?
HIE, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a medical condition that, according to some research, can impact around 2-3 babies per 1000 births. The outlook, or prognosis for a baby with a HIE diagnosis will vary from child to child, with a focus on the severity of the injury and what part(s) of the brain is injured.
For example, if the basal ganglia area of the brain is injured, then movement can be impacted due to the injury. How this injury can play out for a baby is that as the he or she gets older, problems with movement and posture can occur. This can mean medical devices may be needed to assist with movement. In addition, if there are feeding issues associated with the injury, then feeding tubes and other devices may also be needed to support the baby.
These are but some of the areas of need regarding future care for a baby with a HIE diagnosis that has impacted his or her life. As I stated above, all these things, and more come with a financial cost.
PAYING FOR HIE FUTURE CARE…
One way in which attorneys who handle birth trauma cases help families with paying for HIE future care is through the deployment of a life-care plan. A life-care plan is created by a professional who is certified in life-care planning. This person can be a vocational rehabilitation specialist or have medical or legal training.
To be able to get a good feel for the needs of the baby and the family, the certified life-care planner might come out to meet the family and do a day in the life of the family. The purpose of the visit is to see how the family interacts and goes about their day. In addition to looking at the family interactions, the life-care planner will also note the needs of the baby. When noting the needs of the child, the life-care planner will note how long these needs to have to be met, and the financial cost associated. For example, of there are bowel related issues, which cannot be corrected, diapers and wipes will have to be factored into the child’s lifespan.
In addition, let us say that the baby will need wheelchairs (costs associated with the chairs will be factored in also) for life, and the family lives in a two-level condo with stairs. The life-care plan will have to reflect the need for home renovations if possible or the purchase of a new home.
TYING ALL OF THIS TOGETHER…
A life-care plan is something that is calculated into the damages portion of a birth trauma claim. This is the portion that explains how much you need a jury to order the defendant(s) to pay so the baby and family can be made whole. The same for a settlement/mediation agreement.
Because many of these children will need help far into the future, it is here where the expertise of attorneys like myself is important. Some parents, because this is all so foreign, do not immediately see how these issues can play out over time.
If your baby has been diagnosed with HIE and you would like an investigation done into whether the doctors and nurses missed the condition and my doing so, failed to properly treat it, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and call me. I talk with families all the time about MAS, HIE, CP (cerebral palsy) and I would be happy to listen to your story.
I can be reached at 301-850-4832.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP