How to Pay for HealthySteps​

Given the model’s intentional flexibility and the variability of each practice, no two sites are funded identically. Experts at the HealthySteps National Office can provide consultation on funding pathways suitable to your circumstances.

HealthySteps is Remarkably Affordable

Ideally, funding one full-time HealthySteps Specialist allows a practice to provide the Tier 1 universal components of the model to up to 2,000 children birth to age 3 annually, at an average cost per child of $50-$80/year. From that population of 2,000, HealthySteps Specialists can provide short-term child development and behavior consults and care coordination (Tier 2) to up to 300 children annually, and our most comprehensive services (i.e., ongoing, preventive team-based well-child visits, or Tier 3) to up to an additional 300 children annually.

Short-Term Funding

In the early stages, practices may rely on time-limited grants from government agencies, philanthropic foundations, or local entities. Grant funding is an excellent means of initially implementing a HealthySteps program, but solely relying on grants may not provide a pathway to longer-term sustainability.

Long-Term Funding

After the early stages (years 1-3), practices should braid together a diverse set of funding sources to support ongoing program costs. To the extent possible, sites should maximize sustainable revenue by billing public (e.g., Medicaid) and private health care payers for allowable services and exploring innovative payment options beyond traditional service reimbursement (e.g., alternative payment models including value-based purchasing, direct contracting with health plans, and capitated service arrangements).

Other long-term funding sources to consider include:

  • Health system reinvestment and department/GME funds
  • Municipal, county, state, and federal funds, including budget line items, tax monies from tobacco and cannabis sales, and publicly funded grants
  • The U.S. Department of Defense and Indian Health Service
  • Philanthropic funders to support specific opportunities (e.g., evaluation, expansion, and innovation)