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Birth Score - Objectives

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The primary objective of the Birth Score Program is to coordinate an infant risk screening system that:

  1. identifies newborns who are at greatest risk for poor health outcomes and possibly preventable death between one month and one year of age; and

  2. links these infants with primary pediatric services and case management for close follow-up during the first year of life.

A newbornís risk status is determined by using a weighted seven-factor Birth Score system and an evaluation of the babyís risk for developmental delay. Babies are scored on:

  1. motherís age;

  2. babyís sex;

  3. motherís education;

  4. previous pregnancies;

  5. babyís birth weight;

  6. infant feeding intention; and

  7. motherís use of nicotine during pregnancy.

When it is determined that an infant is High Score, the parents are informed and they are linked with a local primary pediatric provider for a recommended six visits in the infantís first six months. All West Virginia Medicaid High Score infants are referred to West Virginiaís Right From the Start Project, where registered nurses and licensed social workers visit the home and coordinate the health, psychosocial and nutritional care for these infants until age one year. The remaining High Score infants are referred to community based HealthCheck program staff who will track the infant through two pediatric visits or 60 days.

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