Iowa has undertaken multiple initiatives over the past several years aimed at improving children’s health, with an emphasis on mental health. In 2008 and in 2011, Iowa enacted legislation to develop recommendations for a redesign of the children’s mental health and disability system. The recommendations were built on system of care principles of family engagement, with the goal of improving access to necessary services and supports for children and youth with mental health disorders. The revised system included community-based integration and coordination of services-physical and mental health, education, juvenile justice, and child welfare.

In light of new opportunities made available through the Affordable Care Act, Iowa implemented two statewide health home programs. Under the authority of Section 2703 Health Home State Plan Amendments, Iowa currently operates two separate programs that are designed to improve the quality of care delivered to Medicaid enrollees – both pediatric and adult -- with qualifying chronic conditions.

The first program serves Medicaid enrollees with certain chronic conditions through the Chronic Condition Health Home and focuses on primary care providers. The second health home model, called the Integrated Health Home, targets individuals with serious mental health conditions and focuses on integrating behavioral and physical health care within a community context.

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American Academy of Pediatrics