The Tyrone Law Firm does everything possible to help families who have children with special needs. In fact, we have dedicated members of our staff who have had to navigate a path for their own children and are available to assist families. If you are a parent with a child with Cerebral Palsy or hypoxic brain injury, we hope these posts will bring new resources for you, your child, and your family:
Children’s Medical Services (CMS) was established to ensure that children from birth to 21 that live in low income homes in Georgia are provided with a community-based, coordinated, family focused, culturally appropriate, comprehensive system of quality specialty health care services. In 2013, approximately 8,870 Georgia children benefited from the use of CMS. They received quality health care and coordinated services. CMS strives to provide improved health outcomes for children with special needs, like cerebral palsy or hypoxic brain injuries, resulting in epilepsy and other neurological disorders, by coordinating access to affordable quality health care and using available resources.
Babies and children with special needs may require extensive medical treatment and support. More than 11% of Georgia’s special population is without medical insurance coverage, leaving them to receive lower quality healthcare services. Children who do not receive quality health care do not thrive as well as those who do and may not thrive as well. Special needs children with private healthcare coverage may have high copays, leaving families with an unavoidable financial burden. CMS prevents complications due to untreated medical conditions and promotes healthy growth and development, by promoting quality, cost effective care for children with unique healthcare needs.
CMS Care Coordination is designed to facilitate timely access to services and resources, promote continuity of care, provide family support and enhance family well-being, improve health, developmental, educational, vocational, psychosocial, and functional outcomes, and advance the quality, integration, and organization of systems of care for children with special health care needs and their families. CMS Care Coordinators promote family participation and decision making, and independence. They help families with referrals for community resources, navigation of options to help pay for health care. Coordinators assist with respite care resources and transitioning to adult health care. Through the CMS Coordinators, families also receive education on managing health conditions.
To qualify for the CMS program, families must be residents of Georgia, be under 21 years of age with an eligible medical condition and have a family income that is less than 236% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. Medical eligibility includes, but is not limited to the following conditions:
- Asthma, cystic fibrosis, and other lung disorders
- Some hearing disorders
- Neurological and neurosurgery disorders including seizures, benign tumors, hydrocephalus, and others
- Orthopedic and/or neuromuscular disorders including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, scoliosis, clubfeet, congenital or traumatic amputations of limbs, and others
- Visual disorders including cataracts, glaucoma, strabismus, and others
- Diabetes and other endocrine and genetic disorders
- Craniofacial anomalies (including cleft lip/palate)
- Congenital cardiac conditions
Children’s Medical Services Program has a network of 18 public health districts, offering statewide community-based services. The statewide directory can be found by calling 800-300-9003. The State Office is located at 2 Peachtree Street, NW Atlanta, GA 30303 and can be reached by calling 404-657-2850. To apply for the CMS program, complete and submit the Children 1st Screening and Referral Form found at http://dph.georgia.gov/cms-parents-caregivers and return it to the local Children’s Medical Services Office that serves the County in which you and your child reside. You can also contact your local Children’s Medical Services Office for more information.
If you would like to know more about Children’s Medical Services, you can find CMS on the web at http://dph.georgia.gov/CMS. We would be glad to help you find other resources that may benefit your family. If our firm can ever help you or someone you know, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Tyrone Law Firm.