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Mercy Children's Hospital

Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps

The Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) Program is administered by the Ohio Department of Health. It is designed to help children with special health care needs and their families obtain the health services they need. It promotes early identification of children with handicapping medical conditions by paying for diagnostic services (tests). For those children who have handicapping conditions and meet income eligibility criteria, it pays for medical care for certain medical diagnoses.

Care is coordinated by service coordinators and public health nurses from local health departments. These service coordinators and public health nurses are skilled in helping families find and use community-based services for the whole family.

If you have a child with a medical condition, you may want to consider BCMH even if you have insurance, because BCMH may provide for continued care when insurance plans change or coverage is lost. It also provides payment for diagnostic services for families not eligible for Medicaid or other government assistance and for those who are underinsured. There are no income eligibility criteria for diagnostic services. There are income eligibility criteria for treatment plan services. Only certain types of medical diagnosis are covered.

If the patient is approved for Healthy Start or Medicaid, they are automatically financially eligible for BCMH, but they need to apply to be covered. All applicants for BCMH treatment plans are required to apply for Medicaid to determine eligibility.

If you would like to know more about BCMH, contact your nurse or social worker, the Family Resource Center, or the health department in your home county.

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