What is Children with Medical Handicaps?

Children with Medical Handicaps is a program that links families of children with special health care needs with health care providers to obtain payment for the medical services their child needs.

Forms & Brochures

Mail, email or fax your completed forms to:


Mail: Franklin County Public Health
CMH Program
280 East Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215

Fax: (614) 525-6673
Email: bcmh@franklincountyohio.gov
Phone: (614) 525-5960


How Can CMH Help My Child?

CMH has three programs to help children with special health care needs: Diagnostic Program, Treatment Program, and Service Coordination Program.  All services must be given by CMH-approved providers.

Children can receive services from CMH-approved providers, to rule out or diagnose a special health care need or establish a plan of treatment. These services may include:

  • Tests and x-rays
  • Visits to CMH-approved doctors
  • Up to five days in the hospital
  • Public health nursing services
  • Therapy evaluations

Children can receive services from CMH-approved providers for treatment of an eligible condition. Both medical and financial eligibility are required for the Treatment Program. Treatment services may include:

  • Laboratory tests and x-rays
  • Physician visits
  • Prescription medications
  • Therapies
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Surgeries and hospitalizations
  • Service coordination
  • Public health nursing services

This program helps families locate and coordinate services for their child. This is a limited program, available to children with specific conditions, who are seen by a team of providers at hospitals approved by CMH for service coordination.

Keeping Current

Submit the following changes to us by phone, fax or email. It is VERY important to keep this information current:
Your PHN will contact you to verify the changes in your information. If you don’t hear from her, please call (614) 525-5960 or email us.

Renewal Process


Your child must see their managing physician at least once per year to be eligible to apply for renewal of CMH services for the next year.


Renewal for the CMH Treatment program is on a yearly basis. It is not automatic!


You should receive your renewal packet approximately two months before the Letter of Approval (“LOA”) will expire. Call your PHN when you receive your packet! She will help you with the renewal application and take care of referrals and services needed prior to the LOA expiring.


If your child is covered by Medicaid or Medicaid managed care plans, you will not receive a renewal packet. Your financial eligibility will be automatically renewed.


If your child loses Medicaid benefits because you did not show up for your Medicaid appointment, or failed to turn in the necessary paperwork, you may lose your CMH coverage.


  • Your child must see their CMH-approved managing physician at least once per year to be eligible for CMH.
  • If you lose Medicaid coverage due to financial reasons, contact your PHN.  You will NOT lose CMH coverage for this reason until your current LOA expires.
  • Your LOA is like an insurance card. Take it to all medical appointments so that all specialists are aware of CMH coverage.
  • All services must be given by CMH-approved providers. Care from a non-CMH provider will result in you having to pay the bill for those services.
  • If your child begins seeing a new specialist, contact your PHN to discuss if additional services can be added to the LOA.
  • Costshare is a CMH financial assistance program that may be available to families that are determined to be over income for CMH services and have received a Denial of Service letter. Call (614) 525-5960 and your PHN can help you with this program.
  • If you receive a Denial of Service letter, please call your PHN at (614) 525-5960.
  • If you ever have any questions about the CMH program, please call your PHN at (614) 525-5960 or email us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Special health care needs may be caused by a condition a child is born with or develops later.

Those children who are:

  • Age 0 – 21
  • Permanent residents of Ohio
  • Under the care of a CMH-approved doctor and who have or may have a chronic medical condition

Some of the eligible conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Hearing loss
  • Spina bifida

  • Chronic lung disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hemophilia
  • Metabolic disorders

  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Severe vision disorders

  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Scoliosis
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Congenital heart disease

  • Allergies
  • Acute or infectious conditions
  • Conditions that are self-correcting through growth
  • Developmental delay

  • Learning disabilities
  • Behavioral conditions
  • Nearsightedness/farsightedness
  • Psychological or emotional disorders

Click here to search for CMH providers by county. 

Call (614) 525-5960 to be connected to your PHN or email us and we’ll help resolve your problems.

Call (614) 525-5960 to be connected to your PHN or email us to request a home visit.

Call (614) 525-5960 to be connected to your PHN or email us. We’ll help you obtain a new copy.