For families of children with special health care needs, the idea of managed care can be worrisome. Families fear that in the interest of cost savings and maximizing profits health plans will limit their children's care. A new study by the National Academy for State Health Policy, supported by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, examines how three states, including California, try to ensure that children with special health care needs are identified in managed care organizations and that their needs are assessed and appropriate care provided. The authors propose promising practices that states could adopt to meet the requirements of this population of children.
Dr. Mark Edelstein oversees mental health treatment and social services for some of California’s most troubled kids. With his staff at EMQ FamiliesFirst, Edelstein works to keep children with significant mental health issues in their communities – an important task at a time when the rate of mental health-related hospitalizations of California children and youth is rising.
This series of issue briefs, prepared by the Insure the Uninsured Project and funded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, examines the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance coverage for children in California, and offers recommendations on how the state might alter existing programs and systems to better serve children.
From her position as director of the Division of Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs in the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Bonnie Strickland takes a national perspective on our fragmented system of care and steps that might be taken to improve it.
Enhancing care coordination by creating an integrated statewide health care information portal for California Children’s Services (CCS) providers is the subject of a new report prepared by Mathematica Policy Research.
Social capital – the benefit that arises from people working together toward a collective good with a sense of trust and shared values – appears to be declining in today’s society. One instance is seen in the system of care for children with special health care needs, where the most commonly cited characteristic is that the system is “fragmented” and “siloed.” Edward L. Schor, MD, senior vice president at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, reflects on how improving social capital in communities may lead to a better functioning care coordination system.
Much attention is appropriately focused on the transition of children with special needs to adult services, but another, much earlier transition also can create stress, confusion and difficulties for families. A California Children’s Services administrator and a parent whose daughter transitioned from Early Start services to a special education program suggest that our system of care be updated to enhance continuity of services from birth to age 5.