CMH - Children with Medical Handicaps

What is CMH? 

CMH, the program for Children with Medical Handicaps, is a health care program in the Ohio Department of Health. CMH Public Health Nurses (PHN) link families of children with special health care needs to a network of quality providers and help families obtain payment for the services their child needs.

What do PHNs do?

  • Help identify children with special health care needs that may qualify for the program
  • Help families fill out forms for CMH
  • Make referrals to doctors, pharmacies, durable medical equipment providers and other providers
  • Explain the CMH programs, the Letters of Approval, and CMH paperwork
  • Help families with denied service appeals
  • Help families with billing related problems
  • Visit families and children in their home

What are special health care needs?

Special health care needs may be caused by a condition a child is born with or develops later.

Which children are eligible for CMH?

Those who are:

  • Age 0–21
  • Permanent residents of Ohio
  • Under the care of a CMH-approved doctor (M.D. or D.O.) and who have or may have a chronic medical condition.

How can CMH help? 

CMH has three programs to help children with special health care needs. All service must be given by CMH approved providers. 

The Diagnostic Program

Children can receive services for up to nine months, from CMH-approved providers, to rule out or diagnose a special health care need or establish a plan of treatment. These services may include:

  • Tests and X-rays
  • Visits to CMH-approved doctors
  • Up to five days in the hospital
  • Public health nursing services
  • Therapy evaluations

Financial eligibility is not required for the Diagnostic Program. Children are eligible until they reach the age of 21.

The Treatment Program

Children can receive services for one year, from CMH-approved providers, for treatment of an eligible condition. Both medical and financial eligibility are required for the Treatment Program. Treatment services may include:

  • Laboratory tests and X-rays
  • Physicians visits
  • Prescription medications
  • Therapies
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Surgeries and hospitalizations
  • Service coordination
  • Public health nurse services

All services must be related to the child’s eligible condition. If the child remains eligible, services may be renewed each year until the child reaches age 24.

The Service Coordination

Program helps families locate and coordinate services for their child. This is a limited program available to children, with specific conditions, who are seen by a team of providers at hospitals approved by CMH for service coordination.

How can families learn more about CMH?

The child’s CMH-approved doctor (M.D. or D.O.) sends a Medical Application Form to CMH. Public health nurses can start the application process by referring families to CMH-approved doctors. The parent or legal guardian (or client, if 18 years of age or older) must sign the release of information and consent on the application form before CMH can act on the application.

Current CMH Newsletter

Click here to access the Spring 2024 newsletter.