Challenges for Decisionmakers: How Managed Competition Could Affect Children with Special Health Care Needs
This briefing report is written to alert public and private sector decision makers to the potential advantages and disadvantages of a health care reform strategy based on managed competition from the perspective of an important and vulnerable population — children with special health care needs. Nearly a third of all children in the U.S. currently have a chronic physical, developmental, learning, emotional, and behavioral problem. A small but growing proporation of children — 6 percent nationwide — are limited in their ability to play or to attend school. Many of these children are poor; in fact, poor children are more likely to experience severe health problems than their nonpoor counterparts.
The United States stands poised to legislate and implement health care reform on a national level, even as reforms are being implemented in states and localities. A substantial amount of activity has coalesced around reform based on two related approaches: managed competition and managed care. Managed care is an approach to delivering health care that is featured prominently in a managed competion model, but it is rapidly developing on its own and will play a large part in the future regardless of the specific reforms enacted.