BlueCross Foundation Commits $1 Million To Neonatal Abstinence Fight

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In response to a surge of babies being born dependent on drugs and suffering the painful symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant for construction of a new NAS treatment unit at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.

“Our experience with our members has taught us how widespread a problem NAS is in East Tennessee,” said Scott Pierce, president and CEO of BlueCare Tennessee, BlueCross’ Medicaid subsidiary.

“Most of those babies wind up at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and it’s the right thing to do to help them upgrade their facilities to deal with this problem.”

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 921 NAS births in the state during 2013. The vast majority of those cases were in upper East Tennessee, where the rate per 1,000 live births in five reporting areas averaged 36.3. The rate for the rest of the state is 3.8.

“Babies experiencing withdrawal symptoms need specialized doses of medication and constant supervision,” explained Carlton Long, Children’s Hospital vice president for development and community services. “Our new NAS unit will provide private rooms and a neighborhood care design. This will allow for better patient monitoring, better staff visualization of the unit and enhanced security. Our current NAS unit will be converted back into inpatient rooms.”

Babies with NAS often suffer painful tremors, sensitivity to light and diarrhea, among other symptoms.

The new NAS unit will, among other features, offer quiet, low-light spaces where trained volunteer cuddlers can hold and comfort the babies, a technique that helps them rest.  Construction of the NAS unit comes as part of a $75 million expansion project being undertaken at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Ground was broken for the expansion Aug. 19.




Alex Sheen To Speak Jan. 15

Alex Sheen will speak at a luncheon to benefit Blood Assurance at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 15 at the Double Tree Hotel in Downtown Chattanooga.  Alex is the founder of because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit organization.  Through his philanthropic work, his personal commitments and the stories of his supporters, Alex speaks to audiences around the world ... (click for more)

Supreme Court Decides Hospitals Cannot Maintain Liens After Bills Paid In Full

In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court has decided that hospitals are required to release their hospital lien against a patient as soon as the patient and the patient’s insurance company have paid the full amount of the hospital charges. This lawsuit involves a common practice in the hospital industry. Hospitals charge uninsured patients more for the same services ... (click for more)

TVA Sues Cleveland's Allan Jones Over Dock, Retaining Wall, Boat Ramp, Boathouse On Hiwassee River

TVA has sued Cleveland, Tn., Check Into Cash millionaire W. Allan Jones Jr. over the construction of a dock, retaining wall, boat ramp and boathouse on the Hiwassee River. In the lawsuit in Federal Court, TVA said it told Mr. Jones before the construction was finished that he was on TVA property. The complaint says he has refused to move the construction from the river. ... (click for more)

Bobby Dodd Lawsuit Against City Moved To Federal Court

A lawsuit brought by former Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd against the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund over his pension has been moved to Federal Court. The lawsuit was earlier filed in Chancery Court by attorneys Jerry Tidwell and Adam Izell. The suit says former Chief Dodd opted for a plan that would have half of his pension go to ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)