Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has been designated as a children's health home by the New York State Department of Health. This designation permits Niagara Falls Memorial to provide care management services to eligible children throughout Niagara County.
A competitive process was used by the state to evaluate children's health home applications and select awardees. Medical center officials report the children's health home will be operational by this fall.
Niagara Falls Memorial currently operates a health home for adults that has enrolled 1,300 Niagara County Medicaid beneficiaries and is conducting outreach for another 2,400 local residents. Memorial is the only hospital in Western New York to operate a health home.
"We estimate that at least 2,000 at-risk children in Niagara County will be served by the Niagara Falls Memorial children's health home. The children served will include those in foster care, medically fragile children with complex health conditions, children with emotional disorders and at-risk children who are currently served by specialized state programs," said Vicki Landes, director of the NFMMC health home.
The children's health home will provide comprehensive care management services, including person-centered and family-based care planning to at-risk children.
Memorial Chief Operating Officer Sheila K. Kee said services will be tailored to meet the particular needs of each child and family.
"The children's health home will connect children to services, coordinate care, evaluate a child and family's progress, and provide transitional care when a child moves from one service system to another," Kee said. "The health home will build on the strengths of the child and family with unique and complex needs."
"The goal is to achieve improved health outcomes, reduce health care costs and prevent adverse health care outcomes in a child's later and adult years," she added.
Landes noted Niagara Falls Memorial has built an extensive consumer-friendly service network to serve children throughout Niagara County. The network includes 62 agencies and 245 providers and will continue to grow as more children are enrolled in the health home.
"Network providers will work in unison to meet the physical, behavioral health, social and economic needs of children," Landes said.
Niagara Falls Memorial is expected to start providing children's health home services Nov. 1.