How Six States Use Medicaid Managed Care to Serve Children with Special Health Care Needs

Medicaid managed care provides a unique opportunity for states to strengthen the structure and delivery of care for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), studied how six states (Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia) designed their managed care systems to serve CYSHCN and examined some of their best practices and strategies to meet the unique needs of these children in three reports:

These studies reveal that while there is variation among states in the design, scope of services, and targeted populations, there are strategies that states can employ in Medicaid managed care to ensure delivery of quality care for CYSHCN, including:

  • Assessing the needs of CYSHCN to better coordinate care;
  • Establishing network requirements for specialty providers;
  • Promoting continuity of care during transitions; and
  • Creating quality measures around processes and outcomes.

These three studies build on NASHP’s 50-state scan of Medicaid managed care systems serving CYSHCN and states’ use of Medicaid quality metrics for CYSHCN.

These resources were developed with support from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services under grant number UC4MC28037 Alliance for Innovation on Maternal and Child Health.