What does the Birth
Score have to do with me?
The hospital uses a screening check list to identify babies who may have
more health problems in the first year of life. If your child is at-risk,
your family will be referred to a doctor of your choice. If you live in West
Virginia, your family will also be referred to an Office of Maternal, Child,
and Family Health - Health Check Program Specialist or Right From the Start
nurse or social worker. The Right From the Start nurses and social workers
are called Designated Care Coordinators and are available to offer
information and support services.
Does a High Birth Score mean there is something wrong
with my baby?
A High Birth Score means a baby is at-risk for more health problems in the
first year of life. An actual health problem may or may not be present.
Since we cannot predict which High Score babies will develop problems, all
High Score babies are encouraged to see a doctor more often. This way the
doctor can find problems early and treat them promptly.
Who can I ask if I have questions about my baby's
While your baby is in the hospital, your baby's doctor or nurse can answer
questions about the Birth Score. You may also call the Birth Score Office at
(304) 293-7302 or the Office of Maternal Child and Family Health at
What services should I receive for my baby? Who
decides what my baby and my family will need?
Together, you and your baby's doctor decide what services best meet your
child's needs. It is recommended that High Score babies get regular
check-ups at ages 2,4,8,12,16, and 24 weeks. You may schedule your baby's
check-ups with a pediatrician, a family doctor, a clinic, or a health
department. If you live in West Virginia, an Office of Maternal, Child, and
Family Health – Health Check Program Specialist or local Right From the
Start Designated Care Coordinator will call or visit you at home. He or she
will answer questions about your baby's Birth Score and, with your
permission, help arrange health care for your child.
What kinds of problems might my baby have?
Most High Score babies will grow normally and remain healthy. Those with
health problems have a variety of illnesses such as frequent colds, rashes,
or earaches. Sometimes a baby may look well, but the doctor finds the child
is growing poorly. Your doctor will ask you several questions. Your answers
can lead the doctor to find small problems early, while they are easy to
treat. Your baby's extra health care visits can mean extra peace of mind for
How much will this cost? How will I pay for the
There is no cost to you for an Office of Maternal, Child, and Family Health
– Health Check Program Specialist’s or Right From the Stare Designated Care
Coordinator’s service. If you have a West Virginia medical card, it will
cover all check-up visits to the doctor. If you have insurance or belong to
a HMO, contact your insurance plan directly for rules about payment.
Depending on the plan you have, many will cover the cost of these medical
May I refuse services?
Parents may refuse any services that are offered at any time.