The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has recently released a report to help states identify opportunities to improve care for children with behavioral health conditions. Faces of Medicaid: Examining Children’s Behavioral Health Service Utilization and Expenditures provides the results of analysis of behavioral health care use and expense for children in Medicaid in all 50 states. “The study reveals that:

  • While children receiving behavioral health care represent less than 10 percent of the overall Medicaid child population, they account for an estimated 38 percent of all Medicaid child expenditures;

  • Children in foster care and those on SSI/disability represent one-third of the Medicaid child population using behavioral health care, but 56 percent of total behavioral health expenses; and

  • Almost 50 percent of children in Medicaid prescribed psychotropic medications received no accompanying identifiable behavioral health services, like medication management.” (CHCS)

In addition to providing an overview of the child behavioral health Medicaid population, this report gives behavioral health providers/policy makers with data for decision-making for use of scarce resources.

Click here to access the report/issue brief at the CHCS website.


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