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Montana Children’s Special Health Services
Health Care Resources Bureau, Department of Public Health and Human Services
Children's Special Health Services (CSHS) helps families and providers identify payment sources and services for children with special health care needs. This program assists families with access to appropriate sources of routine and specialty health care as well as other health care providers and support systems required by children with special health care needs. Referrals can be made to local public health departments for care coordination. Children's Special Health Services providers both financial assistance for qualifying families and specialty clinics for children with special health care needs in Montana. As of January 2008, Montana screens all newborns with: (1) a metabolic screen (bloodspot test) for the 28 conditions recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics; and (2) a hearing screen (the 29th screened condition). Newborns in Montana are also screened by birthing facilities to detect hearing loss. Testing takes about 5 to 10 minutes and can be done while the baby is asleep or lying still. If the newborn does not pass the first hearing screening, another screen is performed. If this screening is not passed, the screening facility informs the parent and the baby's primary care provider that an audiologic assessment is recommended before the baby is three months of age.