Tag Archives: providers

Increasing Medical Home Access

For nearly four years, Family Voices Colorado has served as a subcontractor with the Colorado  Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to assess and support a wide range of health care practices in becoming certified as medical homes.

A medical home is not a residential facility; it’s not even a building. Rather, it is an approach to health care that is comprehensive, coordinated, family- and patient-centered, accessible, and committed to quality and safety. (Learn more at the Colorado Medical Home Initiative.)

Sounds ideal, right? Like what you’d look for in a primary care office, regardless of your age or level of health care needs? And while every provider seeks to do their best in providing the kind of care that patients and families deserve, the medical home certification process helps by identifying specific benchmarks and practices that improve the quality of care and the patient experience, assessing both staff and family perspectives on how well those benchmarks are currently implemented, and then supporting the clinic or office or hospital department in taking steps to improve in areas that are assessed less positively.

Since 2009, Family Voices Colorado has helped certify more than 2,000 practices, from private family and pediatric practices to school-based clinics, federally qualified health centers, mental health providers, and more. In the course of that work, our staff have met tens of thousands families and thousands of providers; conducted and analyzed close to 32,000 family surveys and 20,000 staff surveys; and traveled more than 30,000 miles across the state!

Now that our contract has ended, we are moving into different approaches to our ongoing work of increasing access to and quality of health care for all children, especially those with special health care needs. Without wanting to be too mysterious, we’re not quite at liberty to describe the details of these new programs yet, but keep an eye out for some announcements in the next month or two!

Susana Herrera and Suzette Elledge, two of Family Voices Colorado's Medical Home certification staff
Susana Herrera and Suzette Elledge, two of Family Voices Colorado’s Medical Home certification staff

Tremendous thanks go to Suzette Elledge, our Medical Home Project Coordinator; Susana Herrera, Medical Home Navigator; Colleen Roahrig, Western Slope Coordinator; and other staff who have supported the program over the years. Together, they have helped make sure that more children across the state – both those with special health care needs and those with typical needs – have access to a medical home, which leads to both cost savings and improved health outcomes. Thank you for your commitment to this important work!

Resources for Health Care Providers

HIPAA Privacy Rule Does Not Prohibit Disclosure of Threats to Safety

Last month, the Department of Health & Human Services issued a letter to health care providers to ensure that they are aware of their ability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to take action, consistent with their ethical standards or other legal obligations, to disclose necessary information about a patient to law enforcement, family members of the patient, or other persons, when they believe the patient presents a serious danger to himself or other people.

Webinar: How to Engage Youth in Their Health Care

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation and Got Transition, the National Health Care Transition Center, invite you to join them for a webinar, “How to Engage Youth in Their Health Care” on Wednesday, February 27th.

Note that this is the first of a four part webinar series hosted by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its National Center for Medical Home Implementation. Learn more about  “The Medical Home in Pediatrics: The HOW TO Webinar Series.”

What are your needs as a provider?

If you are a health care provider who works with children and youth with disabilities or special health care needs, what kind of resources would be most helpful to you?  Call 303-733-3000 or email communication [at] familyvoicesco [dot] org to share your perspective.

Family Leadership, Parent Support Providers, and more

Whether you are a parent or other family member who is interested in getting involved in advocacy, or a professional who supports families of children experiencing mental, emotional developmental, or behavioral challenges, you are an important link in the network of services and supports for children with special health care needs. Here are a few resources and training opportunities that came to our attention in the last week:

Using Social Media to Increase Family Leadership

Presenter: Maureen Casey

Sponsored by the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness and National Family Association For Deaf-Blind.

This webinar will discuss different social media platforms and how families and their professional partners can harness the power of the internet to inform family leaders and increase advocacy and leadership. No registration is required.

To accommodate schedules, this webinar will be held twice, one during the day and one in the evening.
February 7th 11am PT, 12pm MT, 1pm CT, 2pm ET
February 10th 4pm PT, 5pm MT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET

This webinar will be closed captioned and recorded. Visit this page for details, including software requirements.

Parent Support Provider Certification: Scholarships available

Certified Parent Support Providers can brag about their credential! They meet the national standard of care for helping families who have children experiencing emotional, developmental, behavioral, substance use, or mental health issues. Now is a good time to apply for national certification. There are new scholarships from OptumHealth to cover $250 of the $350 cost of national certification as a Parent Support Provider. Go to www.certification.ffcmh.org/apply to learn more.

Bright Futures Family Network

Bright Futures for Families is a national initiative for families and communities to promote and improve the health and well-being of children of all ages. The January newsletter provides an introduction to the network’s member organizations.


As always, please call us at 303-733-3000 or 800-881-8272 with any questions.