Florida Healthy Kids

Press

Healthy Kids Press Contact,
Ashley Carr, Chief Marketing Officer,
(850) 701-6160, connect@healthykids.org.

01/11/1999

January 11, 1999

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Technical Assistance Documents Help States Implement Children's Health Insurance Programs

CLEVELAND, OH - In an effort to increase access and provide health insurance to the nation's estimated 10 million uninsured children, the National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Healthy Kids Replication Program released today the first in a series of technical assistance papers designed to help states effectively plan for and implement children's health insurance programs. The technical assistance paper, entitled "Raising the Bar for Quality and Access in Pediatric Delivery Systems: The Experience of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation," was coauthored by the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and Medimetrix, a national healthcare management consulting firm, through a grant provided by the foundation.

"We anticipate that the technical assistance paper will be an asset in providing more insight into the Florida Healthy Kids program," Rose Naff, Executive Director of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, said. "By providing this document, we hope that we can help facilitate the successful development of similar programs across the country."

Serving as the RWJF national replication prototype, the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, established by the Florida State Legislature in 1990, has expanded healthcare coverage to more than 60,000 children across the state. The program sets sliding premium rates that can run as little as $10 per month per family. The short term success has cut down on expensive emergency room visits and given children a healthier start in life.

"Since its inception, the Florida program has inspired other states to adopt a similar program," said Pamela Dickson, Senior Program Officer of the RWJF. "The national program office is providing this document to states in order to support planning and implementation of school-based health insurance programs in their communities."

As early contributors to the design of the Florida Healthy Kids program, Rose Naff and Medimetrix authors Terry Fox Stoller and Margaret Morrisson Dresing share the same vision for the program in the document as Steve Freedman, Executive Director for the Institute for Child Health Policy, who conceived the idea and first published it in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 31, 1988. Specifically, the paper helps states objectively assess proposals from insurers and health plans using a scoring system. The state evaluates the adequacy of the children's healthcare provider networks and establishes credentialing standards. It also helps states evaluate providers, plan performance post implementations using reports and tracks costs/utilizations, quality and access to ensure compliance with quality assurance standards. Most important, the paper identifies a number of critical success factors for replication programs around the country. Copies of the technical assistance paper are available by contacting Terry Stoller at (800) 837-6334, by email: tstoller@mx.com or through the Healthy Kids Replication Program National Program office by contacting at (850) 224-5437 ext.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, NJ, is the nation's largest philanthropic organization devoted exclusively to health and healthcare. Medimetrix is a national healthcare management consulting and marketing firm with offices in Cleveland and Columbus, OH; Denver, CO; and Boston, MA.

Healthy Kids Press Contact,
Ashley Carr, Chief Marketing Officer,
(850) 701-6160, connect@healthykids.org.