Advocacy & Early Intervention Model

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Advocacy & Early Intervention Model Initiative (AIM)

Through collaboration and advocacy, the Advocacy and Early Intervention Model (AIM) is Feeding Matters’ undertaking to transform the system of care, both locally in Arizona and nationally, to enhance the early identification and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. This multi-year, multi-state project will require the effort of the healthcare community at every level to reach our goal of improving the lives of all children who have trouble feeding.

Currently there are gaps in the system due to a lack of specialized education for providers, delayed identification and treatment, limited research on evidence-based treatment, and inconsistent insurance coverage regarding the child’s care. In addition, a family‘s quality of life is often affected due to financial and marital hardships, as well as a disruption to their child’s education.

Our vision for the transformative work of AIM is to strengthen the system of care for children with pediatric feeding disorders to shorten the time between diagnosis and intervention. Providers will be specialized in pediatric feeding disorders so children can be diagnosed at the onset, qualified interdisciplinary teams will establish proven individualized treatment plans, insurance companies will have accurate billing codes, and families will maintain their quality of life.

AIM Phases

Phase 1: Model development

An Arizona task force has been developed and will serve as a model for all states to adopt to facilitate change their own local systems. While Feeding Matters also works with the healthcare community on national initiatives, we believe local challenges often have local solutions. We want to help each state facilitate change at a local level, while also developing a more comprehensive national initiative.

Phase 2: Engaging multiple states

Each state can develop their own state task force with the help of volunteers and oversight from Feeding Matters. Once a task force has been organized, we will work together to facilitate change in your local community and engage the task force in the work being done nationally.

Each state’s task force should identify three to four goals that will be the focus of the local task force. Below you will find developed task forces and their defined outcomes.

Arizona

  • Health Plan Best Practice — to develop more comprehensive insurance coverage for evaluation and treatment practices.
  • Strategic Education Plan — to build awareness of the disorder among pediatricians and additional community partners, and develop local referral sources.
  • Professional Collaboration — to reduce wait lists by increasing referrals and enhancing the care given to families by engaging professional Arizona community members to learn from each other and share professional resources.

Phase 3: National AIM task force

As each state is working on their local systems of care, Feeding Matters will collaborate with the healthcare community and other system leaders to enhance early identification at a national level. We recognize the importance of acknowledging the work being done at each level and maintaining clear communication between all levels of involvement, and are committed to facilitating this communication.

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