Saturday, March 1, 2008

PeachCare for KidsTM Program Partners with Shriners Hospitals for Children

Today (2/18/08) Governor Sonny Perdue joined with Dr. Rhonda Medows, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH), and representatives from Shriners Hospitals for Children to sign an agreement establishing a partnership that will provide pediatric specialty services for PeachCare for KidsTM members at no charge. This partnership will provide for the treatment of an estimated 500 children at Shriners Hospitals, whose health care costs would otherwise be covered through PeachCare.

“This kind of innovative solution will be a model for other states as they seek to partner with private groups to address health care needs,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “We are grateful to Shriners Hospitals for their generosity and their willingness to partner with us as we seek to provide the highest quality health care possible for Georgia’s children.”

This collaboration will allow pediatric specialty services to be provided at no charge to the PeachCare for KidsTM children who qualify for such medical services. Shriners Hospitals’ network of pediatric specialty hospitals focuses on orthopedic conditions, burn injuries, spinal cord injury rehabilitation, and cleft lip and palate repair.

Eligible members would be able to access Shriners Hospitals’ pediatric specialty services at the Greenville, S.C., and Tampa, Fla., locations. Each child treated in a Shriners Hospital will free up funds in the Peachcare program to provide preventative health care to the children of families that work hard and pay their health care premiums. This partnership could mean an annual savings of $1.3 million to the state of Georgia.

“When PeachCare for KidsTM faced a federal funding shortfall that affected access to quality health care services for Georgia’s children, the Shriners Hospitals recognized the importance of the health of our children and proposed a solution,” said Dr. Rhonda Medows, DCH Commissioner. “I am speaking for all parents across Georgia, when I say thank you for your generosity.”

PeachCare for KidsTM began covering children in 1999, providing comprehensive coverage to uninsured children. Health benefits include primary, preventive, specialist, dental care and vision care. As of January 2008, there were 234,720 children covered by PeachCare for KidsTM.

“Shriners Hospitals recognizes that access to quality health care services is imperative to the development and growth of Georgia’s most valuable asset – our children,” said Ralph Semb, Chairman of Shriners Hospitals for Children’s Board of Trustees. “This partnership will give Georgia’s young people a unique opportunity to receive expert medical care, and the Shriners are happy to provide these services at no charge to their families or the state of Georgia.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a one-of-a-kind international health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to the age of 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive all care in a family-centered environment at no charge – regardless of financial need.

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