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Raising the Bar for Health and Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care: Developing a Model of Managed Care

  • By: Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies
  • Date: November 2013
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Type: Resources
  • Category: Report
  • Document: Download

Overview

In this NYSHealth-supported report, the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA) examines the health and mental health care services for New York State’s foster care children and youth and offers recommendations for a managed care model that is financially viable and addresses the range of health needs for children in foster care. 

Children and youth in New York’s foster care system have significant health and mental health needs that are rooted in childhood trauma. New York State’s Medicaid spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year providing health-related services, including physical, behavioral, and dental, for these children. The State’s Medicaid Redesign Team has concluded that all children and adolescents in the foster care system should be enrolled in Medicaid managed care.

The report finds that despite an increase in access to health services after entry into foster care and huge expenditures on high-cost services, children continue to lack access to the preventive and behavioral health services that are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and New York State as a means of addressing their needs, improving outcomes, and managing costs. To successfully transition the foster care system to managed care, New York must focus on addressing the deficiencies in the current system and improving the delivery of care for these children. It offers recommendations that focus on promoting the continuity of care and services; the adoption of evidence-based interventions; and reform of the current reimbursement system.