Adaptation: The state's Medicaid program has adopted Bright Futures Guidelines as the standard of care in Vermont. The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment program follows the Bright Futures/American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Periodicity Schedule provided in the guidelines. State officials are reforming the health care system and have recently adopted Bright Futures Guidelines as the essential benefit package for children and families joining the new health care exchange mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Partnerships: In 1999, the Vermont Chapter gathered child-serving organizations from around the state and created the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), one of the first of its kind in the country.
The local AAP chapter organized a "roadshow" that traveled to 12 different regions in the state to teach providers about Bright Futures recommendations. The Vermont Chapter purchased copies of Bright Futures Guidelines and pocket guides for state practitioners. The meetings included an overview of Bright Futures standards, a discussion on preventive services, information on public health's perspective on children, and a review of the state AAP chapter's role in the partnership.
Representatives from Medicaid, the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Chapter, and other child-serving organizations have worked together over 8 years on measuring preventive services for teenagers and children from birth to age 5.
An interesting aspect of the partnership is the inclusion of health plans. In addition to including representatives from Medicaid and the Vermont Department of Health, the partnership includes collaborators from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and Cigna Health Services. Since the beginning of the partnership, the health plans have been willing to fund a project to improve adolescent health in the state, a need everyone agreed on.
In a similar project, the partnership has focused on children from birth to age 5. Evidence shows that, by working with all of the pediatric practices in Vermont, this project has improved many of the state's preventive services.