PALO ALTO – Achieving high-quality care for children with special health care needs requires agreement on standards of care and application of those standards in practice and policy. Two grants awarded June 4 by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health focus on creating and disseminating standards of care that can be adopted nationally.
A grant to UCLA aims to identify key health outcomes that can be used to evaluate and improve the health of children with chronic, complex conditions. In addition to normal preventive care such as immunizations, these children can benefit from interventions designed to reduce complications and enhance their health, functioning and quality of life, within the limits of their chronic condition. However, there is no current consensus about which interventions should be made available to all children with complex conditions, regardless of their specific diagnoses. As a result there is no standard by which to measure this aspect of quality care. This project is aimed at encouraging development and adoption of standard population health outcome measures for these children.
"Having an agreed-upon set of measurable health outcomes will be valuable to researchers, health care systems and policymakers who are developing strategies to improve the health of children with special health care needs and the quality of their health care while controlling costs," said Edward L. Schor, MD, senior vice president at the foundation.
A second grant builds on two previous foundation awards to the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) that led to the development, dissemination and early testing of national consensus standards for health care systems that serve children with special needs. Now those standards are ready to be consolidated, and tools to help health plans assess their adherence to the standards need to be developed and tested. This third phase of work by AMCHP and the National Academy for State Health Policy will refine and further test the standards, setting the stage for their adoption by national and state policy-makers and private sector health plans.
Details about the grants are available here.
About the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health: The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health is a public charity, founded in 1997. Its mission is to elevate the priority of children's health, and to increase the quality and accessibility of children's health care through leadership and direct investment. The Foundation works in alignment with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the child health programs of Stanford University. Through its Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs, the foundation supports development of a high-quality health care system that results in better health outcomes for children and enhanced quality of life for families.
Eileen Walsh, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health