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How State Medicaid Managed Care Programs Are Addressing the Unique Needs of Children with Chronic and Complex Health Conditions

Organization: National Academy for State Health Policy

Primary Contact: Karen VanLandeghem, MPH

Grant Amount: $140,142 for 16 months

Date Awarded:

Date Completed:


Several states already have transferred children with special health care needs into Medicaid managed care systems. NASHP researchers will identify best practices and commonly encountered problems from these states, and will offer recommendations for states contemplating such a change, which includes California.


Most states are coming to rely on Medicaid managed care health plans to meet the sometimes-unique needs of children and youth with chronic and complex health conditions. Since few states have extensive experience treating these children as a separate population, it is not surprising that there is substantial variation among states in their programs and the data they collect. Building on a federally funded 50-state scan, this project assessed system approaches that states are taking to serve children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and described in greater detail how seven states are restructuring, integrating, and financing the care of these children through Medicaid managed care. Issues briefs, blogs and a webinar describing the results of this project are available.