Kids in Medicaid, CHIP have trouble accessing specialty care

Children covered by Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program experience a myriad of problems accessing care and obtaining services, a new report by the Government Accountability Office concludes.

More than 44 percent of child enrollees needed additional care coordination, but thirty-seven percent received none, according to the report, which is based on 2007 data.

The GAO also discovered that children enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP had twice as many problems accessing care than children enrolled in private health plans. 

To help close the gap, GAO recommended that CMS improve the accuracy of the reports it receives from states. "[I]nformation is lacking on whether those referred for treatment services ever received those services. Continued steps to improve the accuracy and completeness of state reports and to identify options for improving their usefulness are warranted," the report concludes. 

The GAO also recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services develop a plan to better review the reports states must submit on their Medicaid and CHIP programs to CMS on a semi-regular basis.

For more details:
- Read the GAO report
- Read this Healthcare Finance News article