New Study Offers Managed Medicaid Programs Best Practices for Serving Children with Special Needs

Nearly one-fifth of all US children – 14.6 million children ages birth to 18 years – have chronic or complex health care needs that require physical and behavioral care services and supports. According to a new study from the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP), states can utilize certain Medicaid managed care strategies to ensure quality care for this vulnerable population.

The study examined managed care systems in six states – Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia – and analyzed how each served children and youth with special health care needs. NASHP evaluated their findings to catalogue best practices in meeting the unique health needs and improving care outcomes in the targeted population.

In the study, NASHP recommends several state strategies, including:

  • Assessing needs to improve and promote coordination of care during transitions
  • Developing networks of specialty providers
  • Establishing outcomes- and processed-focused quality measures

The report builds on the organization’s 50-state scan, which analyzes the approach Medicaid managed care systems across the country take to provide services to children with special health care needs.