Pediatric Annals

CME Article 

Using Bright Futures to Improve Community Child Health

Wendy S. Davis, MD; Patricia Berry, MPH; Judith S. Shaw, EdD, MPH, RN

Abstract

Just as Bright Futures Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, third edition, leads us to consider “a new approach to health supervision for children,” its publication prompts a reexamination of the opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the public and private entities that make up the children’s healthcare delivery system. Historically, public health agencies and assistance programs have functioned as a safety net for children’s healthcare. The Medicaid program was established in 1965 to provide essential medical services to low-income children and families. Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program supports access to a comprehensive array of health screenings and services; states must provide certain mandatory benefits and may elect to cover additional optional benefits. Efforts to promote high-quality child healthcare to the Medicaid population are therefore easily justified. However, within many states or regions, numerous health-related services are available but may not be connected — nor broadly applied — and poor reimbursement to primary care clinicians under the Medicaid program may further limit its impact on child health outcomes. When this occurs, the public health system must provide the necessary services.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Wendy S. Davis, MD, is Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health. Patricia Berry, MPH, and Judith S. Shaw EdD, MPH, are with the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Vermont.

Address correspondence to: Wendy S. Davis, MD, Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 70, Burlington, VT 05402-0070; fax: 802-863-7229; e-mail wdavis@vdh.state.vt.us.

Dr. Davis and Dr. Shaw have participated in the writing of Bright Futures Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, third Edition, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ms. Berry has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe available state and federal public health agencies with which healthcare professionals may partner in child health improvement activities.
  2. Assess one’s ability to utilize the revised Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision in guiding community child health planning.
  3. Identify opportunities for collaboration in implementing activities related to the Bright Futures theme “Promoting Community Relationships and Resources.”

Abstract

Just as Bright Futures Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, third edition, leads us to consider “a new approach to health supervision for children,” its publication prompts a reexamination of the opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the public and private entities that make up the children’s healthcare delivery system. Historically, public health agencies and assistance programs have functioned as a safety net for children’s healthcare. The Medicaid program was established in 1965 to provide essential medical services to low-income children and families. Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program supports access to a comprehensive array of health screenings and services; states must provide certain mandatory benefits and may elect to cover additional optional benefits. Efforts to promote high-quality child healthcare to the Medicaid population are therefore easily justified. However, within many states or regions, numerous health-related services are available but may not be connected — nor broadly applied — and poor reimbursement to primary care clinicians under the Medicaid program may further limit its impact on child health outcomes. When this occurs, the public health system must provide the necessary services.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Wendy S. Davis, MD, is Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health. Patricia Berry, MPH, and Judith S. Shaw EdD, MPH, are with the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Vermont.

Address correspondence to: Wendy S. Davis, MD, Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 70, Burlington, VT 05402-0070; fax: 802-863-7229; e-mail wdavis@vdh.state.vt.us.

Dr. Davis and Dr. Shaw have participated in the writing of Bright Futures Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, third Edition, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ms. Berry has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe available state and federal public health agencies with which healthcare professionals may partner in child health improvement activities.
  2. Assess one’s ability to utilize the revised Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision in guiding community child health planning.
  3. Identify opportunities for collaboration in implementing activities related to the Bright Futures theme “Promoting Community Relationships and Resources.”

Just as Bright Futures Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, third edition, leads us to consider “a new approach to health supervision for children,” its publication prompts a reexamination of the opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the public and private entities that make up the children’s healthcare delivery system. Historically, public health agencies and assistance programs have functioned as a safety net for children’s healthcare. The Medicaid program was established in 1965 to provide essential medical services to low-income children and families. Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program supports access to a comprehensive array of health screenings and services; states must provide certain mandatory benefits and may elect to cover additional optional benefits. Efforts to promote high-quality child healthcare to the Medicaid population are therefore easily justified. However, within many states or regions, numerous health-related services are available but may not be connected — nor broadly applied — and poor reimbursement to primary care clinicians under the Medicaid program may further limit its impact on child health outcomes. When this occurs, the public health system must provide the necessary services.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Wendy S. Davis, MD, is Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health. Patricia Berry, MPH, and Judith S. Shaw EdD, MPH, are with the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Vermont.

Address correspondence to: Wendy S. Davis, MD, Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health, 108 Cherry Street, P.O. Box 70, Burlington, VT 05402-0070; fax: 802-863-7229; e-mail wdavis@vdh.state.vt.us.

Dr. Davis and Dr. Shaw have participated in the writing of Bright Futures Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, third Edition, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ms. Berry has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe available state and federal public health agencies with which healthcare professionals may partner in child health improvement activities.
  2. Assess one’s ability to utilize the revised Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision in guiding community child health planning.
  3. Identify opportunities for collaboration in implementing activities related to the Bright Futures theme “Promoting Community Relationships and Resources.”

10.3928/00904481-20080401-05

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