BCMH, the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps, is a health care program through the Ohio Department of Health. BCMH links families of children with special needs to a network of quality providers and helps families pay for services their child needs.
BCMH supports the medical home for children with special health care needs. A medical home is a way to provide high quality health care that is:
- Culturally competent
Most importantly, a medical home is a partnership between the doctor and the child’s family. BCMH works with doctors and other health care providers to ensure that every child with a special health care need will have a medical home.
What are special health care needs?
Special health care needs may be caused by a condition a child is born with or develops later.
Which children are eligible for BCMH?
Those who are:
- Age 0-21
- Permanent residents of Ohio
- Under the care of a BCMH-approved doctor (M.D. or D.O.) and who have or may have a chronic medical condition
Financial eligibility is required for Treatment Program.
What conditions are eligible for BCMH?
Some of the eligible conditions are:
- Cerebral palsy
- Cleft lip/palate
- Chronic lung disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Hearing loss
- Juvenile arthritis
- Metabolic disorders
- Severe vision disturbances
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Spina bifida
How can BCMH help?
BCMH has three programs to help children with special health care needs. All services must be given by BCMH-approved providers
- The Diagnostic Program
Children can receive services for three months, from BCMH-approved providers, to rule out or diagnose a special health care need or establish a plan of treatment. These services may include:
- Tests and X-rays
- Visits to BCMH-approved doctors
- Up to five days in the hospital
- Public Health nursing services
- Therapy evaluations
Financial eligibility is not required for the Diagnostic Program.
- The Treatment Program
Children can receive services for one year, from BCMH-approved providers for treatment of an eligible condition. Both medical and financial eligibility are required for the treatment program. Treatment services may include:
- Laboratory tests and X-rays
- Physician visits
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Surgeries and hospitalizations
- Service coordination
- Public Health nurse services
All services must be related to the child’s eligible condition. If the child remains eligible, services may be renewed each year until the child reaches age 21.
- The Service Coordination Program
The Service Coordination Program helps families locate and coordinate services for their child. This is a limited program available to children, with specific conditions, who are seen by a team of providers at hospitals approved by BCMH for service coordination.
How is a child enrolled in the BCMH program?
The child’s BCMH-approved doctor (M.D. or D.O.) sends a Medical Application Form to BCMH. Public Health nurses can start the application process by referring families to BCMH-approved doctors. The parent or legal guardian (or client, if 18 years of age or older) must sign the release of information and consent on the application form before BCMH can act on the application.
How can families learn more about BCMH.
- Public Health nurses at the Perry County Health Department can help families learn more about BCMH. You may contact them at (740) 342-5179.
- Parents may also call the toll-free number, 1-800-755-4769, and follow the instructions to reach BCMH.
- Anyone may call BCMH at (614) 466-1700 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
How can families find a BCMH-approved provider for their child?
- The Public Health nurses at the Perry County Health Department can help families find a BCMH provider
- A list of providers is on the Ohio Department of Health Web site.
- First go to: http;//www.odh.state.oh.us
- Click on the “Health Resources” button
- Click on the “Health Care Providers” button
- Under the drop-down menu, scroll down to one of the following, select and click “go”
- BCMH practitioners
- Providers in each catagory are listed alphabetically by specialty, then by provider name.
For more information, please call the Perry County Health Department and ask for Cindy Dew, RN or Mandy Sherrill, RN at 740-342-5179.
You may also link to the BCMH website at the Ohio Department of Health at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhPrograms/cmh/cwmh/bcmh1.aspx