Learning More for Children from Medicaid and CHIP Policy Experiments

Publisher: Academic Pediatrics (online ahead of print)
Jun 26, 2019
Authors
Joseph S. Zickafoose

Key Findings:

  • Medicaid and CHIP demonstrations and their required evaluations should incorporate more rigorous designs that allow for causal inference.
  • States should leverage requirements for short-term monitoring of demonstrations as a mechanism for continuous improvement.
  • States and evaluators should assess secondary effects on children from Medicaid demonstrations and policy changes that affect adult parents and other caregivers.
  • State Medicaid agencies should engage with child health clinicians and researchers to interpret the effects of demonstrations on children, and plan for next steps in policy.
  • Child health clinicians and researchers should support the dissemination of results from monitoring and evaluation of demonstrations to better inform policy and practice.

Experiments in Medicaid policy are common, and likely to become more common in the future. The implications of these experiments for children are often overlooked and under-evaluated. States and CMS should ensure strong evaluations of whether these experiments are meeting the goals of the Medicaid program, and members of the child health care and research community should raise their awareness of these experiments, contribute to their design, and seek to understand their impacts on children.