Briefs & Reports

Care Coordination for California’s Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs: Building Blocks from other States

California has a long history of caring for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).  For the more than one million CYSHCN in California, care coordination can be critical for linking them and their families to needed medical, developmental, behavioral, educational, and social services, and for providing logistical assistance and emotional support. Coordination of care is also important to providers and policymakers, who are interested in ensuring that vulnerable children with complex needs receive appropriate, timely, high-quality services in a cost-effective manner.

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health (LPFCH) asked Health Management Associates (HMA) to examine programs of care coordination for CYSHCN in other states and to identify decision points and options that could be considered in California.

HMA conducted structured interviews with program officials and staff of seven care coordination programs in six other states. The programs were selected based on literature reviews and discussions with researchers and experts on children’s healthcare that suggested these were innovative and/or successful care coordination programs. Through these telephone interviews, HMA explored program design, operations, and lessons learned.

HMA’s Sharon Silow-Carroll, Brooke Ehrenpreis and Stan Rosenstein prepared this issue brief that delineates for policymakers, local providers, and consumer advocates the key building blocks of a care coordination policy/program, describes how other states have designed these elements, suggests considerations for California given its history and health care landscape, and presents some lessons from other programs that may help in building or improving care coordination for CYSHCN in California.

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