Passport Health Plan Offers Text4baby Program – Helps Members Give Babies a Healthy Start in Life

Louisville, KY – Passport Health Plan is pleased to announce it now offers Text4baby – a free texting service to provide health information to pregnant women and new moms from pregnancy through a baby’s first year.

Passport has chosen to take an active role in caring for new babies by being the presenting sponsor for the March of Dimes’ Walk for Babies on May 11, 2013 and will also promote Text4baby on its website and within the Plan’s prenatal Mommy Steps program for pregnant members.

“Every woman deserves access to information that will help her give her baby the best possible chance at a healthy start in life,” said Judy Meehan, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. “It’s partners like Passport that are making it possible for Text4baby to deliver health messages to those who need them most.”

Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health, safe sleep, and more. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources.

“Passport Health Plan is dedicated to helping Kentuckians lead healthier lives and ensuring more babies get a healthy start to life,” said Mark B. Carter, CEO of Passport Health Plan. “We’re excited about sponsoring March of Dimes’ Walk for Babies and offering Text4baby to our pregnant members. These two initiatives will help reduce Kentucky’s high percentage of pre-term births which is currently at 13.4% .  The March of Dimes provides vital research to prevent these pre-term births and Text4baby will give these members the health information they need through the convenience of personal text messages.”

According to the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before their first birthday. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is one of the highest in the industrialized world, and for the first time since the 1950s, that rate is on the rise. Research shows over 85% of Americans own a cell phone and 72% of cell users send or receive text messages.

Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, non-profit organizations, and more.

 About Passport Health Plan

Passport Health Plan is a provider-sponsored, non-profit, community based, Medicaid health care plan that has operated since 1997. The Plan was established by providers upon the invitation from Kentucky’s Department for Medicaid Services to area providers to take responsibility for the medical care of Medicaid patients for its 16 county region.  The Plan has been consistently rated as “excellent” by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The counties of service include Breckinridge, Bullitt, Carroll, Grayson, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Washington.   Passport Health Plan is sponsored by the University of Louisville Medical School Practice Association, University Medical Center, Inc., Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Norton Healthcare, and the Louisville Primary Care Association, which includes the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Welfare and Louisville’s two federally qualified health centers, Family Health Centers and Park DuValle.  For additional information, visit www.passporthealthplan.com.