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The Recent Media Blitz and Zofran (Ondansetron). What does the medical literature reveal?

Updated September 9, 2015

Safety of Ondansetron Use in Pregnancy a review of the available medical literature by Dr. Shaun Carstairs, MD, FACEP, FACMT. Dr. Carstairs, a board certified toxicologist and practicing Emergency Medicine physician recently presented this information during a Healthy Connections sponsored speaker program with more than 100 physicians in attendance in the Houston and Dallas areas.

Supporting High-Risk Pregnancies... at Home

Being diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy is stressful. Fortunately, you are not alone. Every year more than 800,000 women receive this news, and we help these pregnancies result in healthy, happy babies. The medical professionals at Healthy Connections Home Care Services have been caring for high-risk pregnant mothers for more than 11 years. Healthy Connections is owned and operated by highly-trained obstetric nurses whose focus is to collaborate with your OB/GYN to provide you with exceptional medical care in the comfort of your own home. We encourage you to learn more about the benefits of home care so you can turn those initial feelings of fear and uncertainty into stories with very happy endings.

What is Healthy Connections?

Healthy Connections provides quality high-risk obstetrical care delivered by specialized nurses for management of pre-term labor, hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy), pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes management and compliance coaching and education. In addition to home visits, our 24/7 Call Center means that our highly trained OB/GYN nurses are only a phone call away when a patient or family member has a question or concern. Our Call Center and web-based charting system also enables us to collaborate closely with physicians in carrying out their care orders and in monitoring and managing each home care patient. Not only does care in familiar surroundings improve patient well-being, it also provides a more cost effective solution for families and healthcare providers.

How We Help

At Healthy Connections Home Care Services, we believe that home care is more advantageous than hospitalization for well-selected pregnant patients. Healthy Connections takes direction from the patient's obstetrician in providing a personal and customized level of health services delivered in the patient's home and supported through our Call Center staffed by skilled OB/GYN nurses. The patient plays an integral role in this relationship by being receptive to our educational efforts and remaining in regular contact with our Call Center staff.

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Committed to Our Community

Healthy Connections has increasingly served as a catalyst for dialogue across the Texas OB/GYN community, sponsoring lectures on important clinical issues and offering a forum for prominent speakers, such as leaders of the Texas Medical Association and prominent healthcare organizations. We are honored to host such highly regarded experts in advancing conversations in the OB/GYN community that impact patient care.

Patient FAQs

Do I still contact my physician if I am experiencing a problem or symptoms in my pregnancy?

If you have any symptoms that you believe are life threatening, you should call 911 or emergency services in your area. However, if you are experiencing a problem related to the services Healthy Connections provides, please call our Call Center at 888-304-1800. Our Call Center is staffed 24/7 with registered nurses who are skilled in high-risk obstetrical pregnancy and work in conjunction with your OB/GYN to provide you with the best home care experience possible. At times, Healthy Connections’ nurses may direct you to call your physician, other times they may send you to the hospital for further evaluation and call your physician to make him/her aware of the problem. Questions of a non-emergency nature that do not require an immediate response should be directed to the Call Center during normal business hours.

Who do I call if I have problems/malfunctions with equipment?

Healthy Connections equipment is all FDA-approved. Before any of our pumps or monitors go to patients’ homes, they undergo preventative maintenance. We hope this will ensure that our equipment is in top working order. However, we are aware that at times, such sensitive equipment may experience some problems. When this occurs, please call our 24/7 Call Center at 888-304-1800. Our registered nurses staffing the Call Center will be able to contact our staff, who will either replace the equipment or correct any problems that have arisen. We do ask that all of our patients treat such sensitive equipment with care and respect, so that Healthy Connections can continue to provide the best quality service to all of our patients.

When will my equipment be picked up?

When your services with Healthy Connections are completed, our Call Center nurses will typically notify the home office in the city where you reside. This office will contact you to arrange for pick-up at your home or the hospital. If you have delivered while still using Healthy Connections’ equipment, please do NOT leave this equipment at the hospital. They do NOT want to bear responsibility for it. If our offices have not contacted you within 48 hours after having your therapy completed, please call us to make pick-up arrangements at 713-457-1350 ext. 3002.

Who do I call if I need to order supplies, and how will they be delivered to me?

Healthy Connections offices will contact you weekly to order supplies. Please try to note the quantity of each supply that you have (e.g. # of batteries, Orbits, etc.) prior to our call. You will also need to check the residual volume on your pump (nurses will teach you how to do this) so that our office can calculate how much additional medication you require, if any. We schedule supply and medication shipments to patients at the beginning of each week. Healthy Connections realizes that this isn’t always possible, so we ask that you remain flexible.

Shipments typically arrive the day after the office has spoken with you, usually by UPS. Medications are kept cold in special insulated boxes with pre-frozen cold packs. If you are expecting a shipment, please refrigerate appropriate medications immediately! Medications have some tolerance to room temperature, but are best stored in colder environments. If you know you will be away from home the day the shipment is coming, please make arrangements with a family member or neighbor to bring these medications in out of the heat/sun.

While we try to avoid having to deliver medications or supplies by courier, this may happen from time to time. Our drivers will identify themselves when bringing supplies to you. Unfortunately, due to the nature of home care, these courier visits may run late into the evening. Drivers will, however, attempt to contact you prior to coming to your home, so that you are prepared for our visit.

Will my physician be notified of my progress or any potential problems?

Our Call Center nurses speak to our patients' obstetrician and obstetrician’s office staff fairly frequently to change orders on patients or to provide updates on patients' progress. Healthy Connections faxes weekly progress reports on our patients to their physicians so that they are apprised of patient medication dosages and response to these medicines. These reports also are often provided to the professional case management staff at the patient's insurance company, so they are aware of progress. Healthy Connections has the ability to contact your physician or those covering for him/her throughout the week, weeknights and weekends. We do, however, attempt to minimize disturbing your physician during their off-hours, except for patient emergencies.

When and how often will a nurse come out to see me?

Some of our patients begin therapy at home, while others begin therapy in a hospital setting in anticipation of discharge. This initial visit will be a fairly long assessment and will involve a great deal of teaching about the therapy you will be utilizing. Some of the therapies provided by Healthy Connections require only one nursing visit, while others require multiple visits. Additionally, the registered nurses who come to your home will notify you of scheduling a follow-up visit at the time they see you. If you feel that you require additional visits, you may contact the Healthy Connections Call Center at 888-304-1800.

If I have questions regarding my insurance or a bill, whom would I need to contact?

Health insurance coverage has become much more complicated in the last several years with higher patient deductibles and co-payments. Many of our Healthy Connections pregnant patients have never had to use their insurance quite like they have in pregnancy and even fewer have ever had a home care company visit them. Healthy Connections will always attempt to get your services authorized by your insurance company prior to starting therapy. Some private insurance companies can take days to make a determination about your care, but Healthy Connections may still start service without this authorization in some cases. We will attempt to work with you, your insurance company, and your doctor to ensure that we can provide you with services at the most competitive rates. Our staff has experience in dealing with insurance companies and will do our best on your behalf.

Some insurance companies mandate that patients have a consultation with a high-risk obstetrician called a perinatologist before they will authorize services for you. If this should occur and your obstetrician schedules such a visit, please know that the quicker you can get this visit scheduled, the sooner authorization can be obtained for your services.

Any questions that arise regarding your insurance can be directed to Healthy Connections’ Billing department: 1-866-425-3593 ext. 3003.

Can I return any unused medication or supplies?

Healthy Connections is prohibited from re-distributing any and all supplies or medications that have been sent to patients’ homes, even if they are unused. Healthy Connections has, however, worked with a group based in Houston that collects unused supplies and medications and offers them as charitable donations to poorer countries whose medical systems cannot meet all patient needs. If you do wish to return these supplies to us, please know that we will donate these to this group to benefit other patients abroad.

How do I dispose of the biohazard (sharps) container?

When Healthy Connections makes arrangements to pick up equipment and any unused supplies that you wish to have donated, we will also obtain any biohazard or sharps containers that contain used needles or intravenous catheters. Please have this ready for us when we arrive to make our pick-up.

How can I submit a question to be answered?

Healthy Connections strives to provide information to any of our current or potential patients. If you have a general question to ask us, please feel free to email your question to us. Current patients, please do not use this link to submit any supply requests or ask questions that may be handled immediately by our Call Center nurses who can be reached at 888-304-1800. Thank you.

Contact Us

Referrals: (888) 304-1800

Fax: (888) 321-3171

24 Hr Call Center
(Physicians/Patients)
(888) 304-1800

16770 Imperial Valley Dr Suite 150
Houston, TX 77060

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15701 W. Hardy Road, Suite 3, Houston, TX 77060 USA
Gaylynn Thomas, RN Healthy Connections provides at-home care for high-risk pregnant mothers. (888) 304-1800 (888) 321-3171 efax-healthyconnectionsintake@optioncare.com