HHS Approves Waiver for Healthy Families Initiative
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Friday granted a waiver to allow California to use some funds intended for Healthy Families administration to provide supplemental rural health services, including services for some children who otherwise would not be eligible for Healthy Families. The initiative is designed to improve access to health care for 73,000 medically underserved and uninsured children in rural areas. Federal funding for Healthy Families and other state funds will be used to finance extended clinic hours in rural areas; mobile health and dental service vans; and health screenings, nutritional counseling and telemedicine for children ages 18 and younger. Thompson said the initiative would "improve the lives of children living in rural areas who otherwise might not receive critical health services." HHS in 1999 approved a similar project, which the state ended last year because of budget concerns (HHS release, 3/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.