Driscoll Health Plan wins contract to provide healthcare to children with disabilities through new STAR Kids Program

CORPUS CHRISTI — The Driscoll Health Plan continues to build its reputation in South Texas with its recent selection by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission as a Managed Care Organization (MCO) in the STAR Kids program, which is the first Medicaid managed care program for children and youth with disabilities.

When the program starts in the Fall of 2016, STAR (State of Texas Access Reform) Kids will provide health benefits that include prescription drugs, hospital care, primary and specialty care, preventive care, and personal care services to children and young people through age 20 who qualify for Medicaid based on a disability.

“The STAR Kids program will help the Driscoll Health Plan expand the scope of services we offer to South Texas families and provide hundreds of new jobs to the region,” said Joe Cecil, executive director of Driscoll Health Plan's STAR Kids program. “We are working hard to make sure parents have access to specialized care tailored to their child’s specific needs.”

STAR Kids was developed for children and youth who have health conditions including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, blindness, and others. Driscoll Health Plan STAR Kids program assesses the needs of children and families and connects them with services and qualified providers. Driscoll Health Plan, the only provider-sponsored health plan in the region, was founded in the mid-1990s by the Driscoll Foundation and began offering CHIP in 2000 and STAR Medicaid in 2006. Since its establishment, Driscoll Health Plan has grown from three members to more than 145,000 members.

The addition of STAR Kids to Driscoll Health Plan’s expanding portfolio of services will bring thousands of new children into the health plan and create at least 260 new jobs, with more than 200 for registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and social workers who will work in skilled service coordinator positions to provide personalized care plans for South Texas children with special needs. The STAR Kids program also will provide new call center jobs through Valence Health, which assists Driscoll Health Plan with member eligibility / enrollment and customer relationship management.

Driscoll Health Plan also offers a wide range of value-added services to families enrolled in their existing STAR Medicaid and CHIP programs. These services include access to fitness programs, asthma services, and sports/school physicals for children and teens.

One key initiative of the health plan is oral health preventive care services, which includes fluoride varnish application, early oral exams, nutritional counseling, and education on oral health care. For expectant moms, Driscoll Health Plan offers the Cadena de Madres program – a series of educational baby showers where moms-to-be and their guests learn about pregnancy, birth, and keeping babies healthy.

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