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September 2013Vol. 14, No. 7Improving Medicaid for Children in Care

Nearly all children involved with child welfare are eligible for Medicaid, and a report by the Center for Health Care Strategies explores strategies used in four States to improve Medicaid delivery systems for this population. The report includes case studies, best practices, and strategies from Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey. The best practices, experiences, and lessons learned by these States may inform other States in developing more coordinated Medicaid delivery systems.

The report focuses on the following key Medicaid strategies from each State:

  • Medicaid Financing
  • Eligibility, enrollment, and access
  • Screening and early intervention
  • Covered services
  • Individualized service planning and intensive care coordination
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Medicaid providers
  • Performance and outcome measurement

The following lessons learned may provide insight for other States as they move to improve their Medicaid services:

  • Understand the unique needs of children and families involved with the child welfare system
  • Recognize the importance and benefits of relationships and collaboration
  • Create multiple strategies
  • Incorporate a broad array of Medicaid benefits
  • Adopt an individualized approach to services using wraparound services
  • Create financing channels to maximize resources and flexibility
  • Understand the mandates, goals, and cultures of partner agencies
  • Ensure solid implementation and monitoring of new strategies
  • Implement strategies in order to sustain each new provision

Making Medicaid Work for Children in Child Welfare: Examples From the Field is available on the Center for Health Care Strategies website: (821 KB)