A lack of coordination across health sectors—along with structural limitations, such as transportation challenges or lack of resources in rural locations—can complicate the provision of services for kids with complex health and social needs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services serves as the primary payer of these services, and its Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model intends to improve outcomes for Medicaid-enrolled children, notably for those who require a wide range of health and health-related services. InCK Model funding supports child-and-family-centered service providers to expand care coordination for both healthcare and Core Child Services, such as education, housing, and food. Additional goals include promoting improvements in care and reducing costs to Medicaid.
Abt evaluated eight awardees in seven states that received InCK Model pre-implementation funding and found that:
- Awardees designed individual approaches based on their communities’ needs.
- Across awardee communities, patients faced similar challenges to receiving care and services, including a lack of provider availability, transportation challenges, and condition-based stigmas.
- Awardees aim to overcome those challenges by coordinating care and data for health and Core Child Services providers, incentivizing screening and prevention activities, and improving care standards.
- Awardees adapted their planning activities and intended implementation approaches over time, as their understanding of the InCK Model’s requirements grew.
- Responding to the COVID public health emergency limited the availability and engagement of providers in the InCK Model regions.
- Awardees showed a willingness to address challenging complex legal and regulatory hurdles so that data could be shared between health and Core Child Services providers and with CMS.
- Awardees developed new systems to better share data with providers, patients, and their caregivers.