(CINCINNATI, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today released recommendations from the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Home Visitation about how to increase the state’s investment in proven home visitation programs and announced a new pilot program to expand home visiting programs.
“Evidence-based home visiting programs help give children the best possible start in life and increasing participation can help lower infant mortality rates, increase kindergarten readiness and improve parenting skills,” said Governor DeWine. “Strong children grow into strong adults, so an investment in these proven programs is an investment in our state’s future.”
The advisory committee, formed the day after Governor DeWine took office, is made up of leaders from the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, home visiting programs, and area health officials. The group met six times to form this collaborative report that makes 20 recommendations aimed at tripling the number of families served through evidence-based home visiting.
The recommendations include:
- Make race and ethnicity foundational elements of the state’s infant mortality efforts.
- Expand and streamline eligibility requirements so more at-risk families can be served.
- Create a central point of intake for all home visiting programs.
- Create a central data warehouse for all home visiting programs.
- Promote collaboration among healthcare payers, children’s hospitals, birthing hospitals, and other community-based providers.
- Leverage the Medicaid program to reimburse for eligible services in a more cost-effective manner.
- Align the Department of Medicaid infant mortality reduction funds to complement the Help Me Grow program.
- Increase the frequency of the Ohio Department of Health incentive payments.
To implement these recommendations, Governor DeWine will be asking the legislature to double the funding of Ohio’s home visiting programs, investing an additional $50 million over the biennium into evidence-based home visiting programs, bringing the total state funding for home visiting to $90 million over two years.
To help triple participation in home visiting programs, Governor DeWine also announced the formation of a pilot program, Pay for Success, a public-private partnership aimed at increasing the availability of, and participation in, home visiting programs.
Participating communities fundraise to contribute the upfront capital for the programs and then receive incentive payments from the Ohio Department of Health based on a custom Outcomes Rate Card, to be released in the coming weeks, every time a participating family meets a performance metric. Once communities reach goals set by the Ohio Department of Health, they will receive enhanced payments for their success.
“This innovative approach is one way to encourage expansion of these programs. Working together communities can invest in their own success.” said Governor DeWine. “By leveraging private dollars, we can work to address some of our most pressing health needs.”