The Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) launched a Health Home Serving Children program in early December with the aim of providing better care management services to children and their families.
AHI officials said Health Home Serving Children is not a physical location, but rather a network that provides care management for children on Medicaid who have complex physical and/or behavioral health conditions. The program, a free service funded by Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care, is comprised of all of a child’s caregivers, including physicians and other clinicians, behavioral health specialists, hospitals, health plans, education systems, and community-based organizations, working together and talking to one another so that a family’s needs are fully met.
“Expert care managers oversee a child’s care, working to make sure the child and his or her family has access to all needed services to stay healthy, active and safe,” said Annette Parisi, AHI executive director of behavioral integration. “Identifying and accessing the right services can be complicated and sometimes overwhelming for families, and is especially crucial when it involves children.”
She said Home Serving Children’s goal is to improve care coordination for high-risk children who receive Medicaid. “Our plan is to significantly reduce duplicate services, emergency room visits and hospital admissions, while lowering the cost of care.”
According to Parisi, children from birth to age 21 enrolled in Medicaid who have a qualifying condition, or two or more chronic health conditions, may apply for the AHI Health Home Serving Children program in one of seven counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington.
Qualifying conditions include, but are not limited to: severe emotional disturbance, complex trauma, substance abuse, asthma and HIV/AIDS.
Additionally, one or more risk factors are present in the child’s life. These factors include, but are not limited to: homelessness or risk of homelessness, family instability, problems in school, connectivity to juvenile justice, non-adherence to treatments and learning or cognition issues.
Parisi said children can be referred to the AHI Health Home Serving Children by being referred by the agency providing care, being self-referred or referred by an outside agency.
“We are extremely excited about this new program,” stated Parisi. “We recognize the important differences and unique challenges to providing care management and planning for children, compared to the approaches we take with adults. The AHI Health Home Serving Children is uniquely positioned to provide comprehensive, coordinated and integrated child- and family-centered services. We are confident it will have a major, positive impact on the health of children in the communities we serve.”
For more information, visit www.ahihealth.org/healthhome or call 866-708-2912.