State purchasing and enforcement quality care for children in Medicaid and SCHIP managed care

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Managed Care Interface


Volume 18, Issue 6

Inclusive Pages



Child Health Services--standards; Insurance Coverage; Managed Care Programs--standards; Medicaid; Quality of Health Care--legislation & jurisprudence; State Government; Medicaid & SCHIP


State Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) agencies play pivotal roles in ensuring that participating health plans provide quality care. In 2003, researchers interviewed SCHIP officials with oversight responsibilities in nine states and found that all agencies had formal monitoring procedures and that all of them regularly collected data that measured health plans' compliance with quantifiable standards. Several states designed a graduated incentive and penalty system, which they believed favored compliance. Many agencies also stressed the need for collaboration with participating plans, because of underlying systemic barriers. None of the surveyed states considered their contractual agreements with health plans as all-encompassing on quality improvement, which underscores the importance of additional, noncontractual strategies to improve the quality of care. The survey found a disparity between state expectations for health plan performance and the realities of the delivery system, including the priorities of health plans and providers. The sample states were good monitors who enforced general contractual standards of pediatric quality of care; however, one shortcoming was found. Few of the surveyed states focused on oral disease or lead poisoning as part of their overall quality improvement efforts.

Peer Reviewed