Systems and Standards

Strengthening the System of Care and Accountability for Children with Special Health Care Needs During the COVID-19 Crisis


Manatt Health Solutions

Primary Contact

Cindy Mann

Grant Amount

$50,000 for 13 months

Date Awarded

May 2020


This grant aims to identify COVID-19-specific state policies and regulations that will help ensure access to needed care for children through Medicaid and the federal CARE Act during the pandemic. Medicaid covers about half of all children with special health care needs (CSHCN) in the United States, playing a central role in addressing the complex physical and behavioral health needs of this particularly vulnerable population. The project is co-funded with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. LPFCH funding will support compensation for national and state family advocates to participate in strategic planning and implementation of advocacy efforts to address state-level policy changes that will improve access.


Manatt assembled five state teams--Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Mexico—comprising child health organizations, family advocates, and pediatricians, to address Medicaid and CHIP policy and operational issues related to COVD-19. They helped the advocacy teams identify Medicaid flexibilities that were enacted in other states and could be beneficial in their states. Manatt also guided the advocacy teams in considering which flexibilities that were adopted in light of COVID-19 have been most beneficial in improving access to coverage and care and should be made permanent. Additionally, Manatt facilitated four national webinars that explored strategies for state Medicaid agencies to implement during the pandemic, from coverage requirements to expanded access to services. Funding from the Foundation ensured that all five state teams had active representation from state family leaders.

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