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Introduction to the WV Kids' Health Partnership
Transcript of Introduction to the WV Kids' Health Partnership
Can we create a state referral network specifically for kids?
Can we work toward a partnership that fosters continuity of care between systems, so comprehensive medical records follow these children, regardless of how transient their lives can be?
Can we compile and disseminate state specific kids’ health data? Can we drill down into data collected during well-child exams to get a clearer picture of the health care needs of kids in our state?
Can we help our state government achieve quality measures specific to kids' health?
By focusing on kids' health across services and systems, including social supports and systems that provide services for kids-- instead of on a specific disease, or age group, or service setting-- we can address challenges or opportunities that individually, we cannot.
That’s where the Partnership will focus its work.
Next Steps: We want to ensure that the work that we do is of benefit to those who provide health care to kids and families, to those in communities across the state, and to systems that help children in their development.
We want to take time to listen to those who meaningfully want to participate in the Partnership, so their time commitment with us is valued and meaningful.
We want to craft a workplan by the end of February, so we can begin our work by March 1, 2017.
With your help, the West Virginia Kids' Health Partnership can serve as the program that helps other kids' health nonprofits, program, and services do what they do, better.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Study Group formed in 2015. When the ACA was implemented, there was concern that CHIP wouldn't be reauthorized, and that CHIP kids would be prematurely pushed into the Marketplace.
When CHIP was reauthorized through 2019 and funded through 2017, we considered whether we should disband or refocus our vision.
We decided to broaden our scope and take a good look at the way we care for the health of West Virginia's kids.
If we take an aerial view of kids health in our state, we see that generally speaking, West Virginia's kids are some of the unhealthiest kids in the country.
Many federally, state and grant funded programs and initiatives--focusing on specific health problems and services-- have struggled for years to reduce these prevalence rates and improve health.
All of us--whether in primary, mental or oral health care--have faced the same challenges to implementing successful programs and services, such as access issues, few providers, lack of community resources, struggles with data collection, and sustainability.
From the ground perspective, we have deep rooted challenges to keeping our kids healthy. More children live in poverty than any other demographic in our country. According to a 2015 Kids Count report, around 27% of our kids are currently living in poverty. Keep in mind, the 2014 federal poverty threshold was $24,008 for a family of four.
Social determinants of health play a critical role in health disparities, especially with kids. But the systemic challenges we face in connecting kids with specialty care, we face with connecting kids to social and community services.
Now factor in where kids spend their time, or the state systems responsible for providing services-- including public education, the child welfare system, foster care and juvenile justice-- we see siloed systems trying to address these same systemic problems.
The West Virginia Kids' Health Partnership
Moving Bright Ideas Forward
The Big Picture: We're addressing kids' health via programs and funding streams specific to disease, prevalence rates and health disparities, or by age, or by a specific system of care.
We all face challenges that cannot be comprehensively addressed when focusing on a specific illness, or service delivery problem, or siloed system.
Thinking of things in terms of this big picture, the CHIP Study Group agreed to broaden its scope and adopted these guiding principles:
1. Kids have unique, developmental health care needs.
2. Children face serious systemic and cultural barriers that can keep them from developing to their full potential.
3. Collaboration is key to addressing the children’s health disparities in our health care system.
4. Now is the time to organize and act on bold, bright ideas.
5. We need to develop a statewide strategic plan to guide this critical work.
Within this context, guided by these principles, the question to potential members of the WV Kids' Health Partnership is this: Together, can we think of a few bright ideas that help us address these cross-sectional challenges?
Here are a few of our own bright ideas:
Can we better educate parents—not only about the disease or health issues at hand—but how to utilize insurance? How to empower parents when working with the aforementioned systems if their child or children have specific health care needs?
Can we assess provided services around the state, so we can know where we have the biggest gaps in care? Can we accurately map areas where specialty care lies out of reach for the kids on Medicaid?
Can we assess current community and school programs and centralize this data, so we can help connect providers with support services?
Can we keep a statewide database of the many, many pilot programs around the state, so we can learn from their experiences? And replicate successful programs?
Can we create a collaborative where we connect providers, services and systems interested in similar health programs, so they can seek joint grant opportunities? Can we help collect and warehouse relevant data for "statements of need" or baseline data?