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Banner Lassen Qualifies as California Children Services Provider


Banner Lassen Medical Center has received approval from the California Department of Health Care Services as a medical service provider in a program designed to help children with special needs.

The California Children’s Services is a state program for children up to 21 years of age with certain diseases or health conditions. The program makes it possible for those children to receive health care and services they need, but can’t afford. Banner Lassen Medical Center joins a list of more than 140 approved providers and one of a handful in rural areas of the state.

“We estimate this means approximately 100 children with special needs in our community will no longer have to travel out of town to receive basic medical care,” said Cathy Harshbarger, CEO of Banner Lassen Medical Center. “This is an excellent partnership with California Children’s Services to make sure these children who have special needs and families facing financial burdens get the care they need near home.”

To gain approval from the state, a number of staff members completed training in pediatric care, and the hospital had to adopt policies and procedures tailored to caring for children with special needs. The California Children’s Services Limited Hospital program requires providers to meet standards and show excellent multi-disciplinary care including ongoing assessments, plans and documented follow-up for the patients. To remain in the program, the hospital has to show annual compliance with the standards.

“The care we will offer to these patients will be for general health and wellness,” Harshbarger said. Until now those children were not able to be seen locally for general care because the CCS program would not reimburse services.

Robert Dimand, MD, the Chief Medical Officer for California Children’s Services, said expanding the program to Banner Lassen Medical Center provides better health care access for residents in a very rural area of the state. The program’s high standards also means those children will receive better care.

“Banner is now able to be a part of our network and a part of the system,” Dimand said, noting that California Children’s Services is the largest organized program in the United States for children’s health care services. Dimand remarked that when he worked at University of California, Davis, he saw many patients from Susanville. “If they can receive care locally, it will be wonderful.”

Banner Lassen Medical Center is a part of Banner Health, a nonprofit healthcare system with 25 hospitals in seven states.

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