Program available for children with special health care needs


COLUMBUS – Children with Medical Handicaps, formerly BCMH, is a health care program in Ohio that links families of children with special health care needs.

CHM aims to help families cover the cost of children’s health care needs. It is a tax-supported, state administered program in the Ohio Department of Health. CMH has three programs to help serve children with special health care needs.

A diagnostic program is available, which a child can receive services up to a six-month period of time from CMH approved providers. This is when a child has a problem to rule out or diagnose a condition and develop a plan of action. Services include lab tests, X-rays, up to five days in the hospital and speech, occupational and physical therapy evaluations.

The second program is the treatment program, which is to provide ongoing treatment services for eligible children. Children can receive services for one year from approved CMH provider. This program requires both medical and financial eligibility. Treatment services include prescription medications, medical equipment and supplies, laboratory tests and surgeries.

Service coordination is the third program. This helps families coordinate services for the children with specific conditions with a team of CMH approved providers.

There are many conditions covered including cancer, cleft/lip palate, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, hearing loss and congenital heart disease.

Ohio residents 0-21 years of age who may have or do have a chronic medical condition and are under the care of a BCMH approved provider are eligible.

Financial eligibility is determined on service needs of the child and adjusted gross income of the faily. Middle income families with children who need expensive services still may be eligible for CMH coverage. Families who have been notified that they are over the income guidelines for CMH are advised of the availability of a cost share program.

For more information contact local public health nurse Casey Shipp, BSN, RN at Darke County General Health District at 937-548-4196 ext. 215 or visit the Ohio Department of Health website at for more information.

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