Report

Children with behavioral health needs served by Medicaid require an array of services to support their health and well-being. However, the current system often does not meet their needs, resulting in missed opportunities to improve outcomes. To better understand the patterns of service use and costs for these children, the Center for Health Care Strategies analyzed behavioral health care use and expense for children in Medicaid in all 50 states. This brief highlights key findings from the analysis and points to significant opportunities for quality improvement in the organization, delivery and financing of care for children with behavioral health needs in Medicaid. For complete study findings, access the full report, Faces of Medicaid: Examining Children’s Behavioral Health Service Utilization and Expenditures. For more resources, visit the CHCS website.

December 21, 2013

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Key statistics related to behavioral health care use and expense among children in Medicaid.

  2. 2

    Implications for the organization, delivery, and financing of behavioral health care based on the data.

  3. 3

    Stories that illustrate what Medicaid enrolled children with behavioral health needs may experience.

  4. 4

    Three overarching policy opportunities for states to consider in efforts to improve children’s behavioral health care access, quality, and cost-effectiveness.

Key Takeaway

Opportunities Exist to Improve Children’s Behavioral Health Care

By examining patterns of behavioral health care use and expense in their own Medicaid programs, compared to the national baseline presented in this study, states can work toward targeted improvements in behavioral health care access, quality, and cost-effectiveness. 


 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations