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Evaluating CMS’s InCK Model for Kids with Complex Health Needs


  • Can new service delivery and payment models provide better care for children covered by Medicaid and CHIP?
  • Abt is leading a mixed methods evaluation design to evaluate the model.
  • Results will address whether early identification, service integration, and alternative payment models improve the well-being of kids and their families.
The Challenge

Improving healthcare quality while reducing costs is a goal Abt Global has been helping the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pursue for more than a decade through evaluations and more. CMS’s Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) payment and delivery model was designed to better integrate service delivery across behavioral health, physical health, and other health-related services for children with the goal of reducing Medicaid expenditures and improving outcomes.  

The Approach

Through a $23.5 million, nine-year contract, Abt is evaluating InCK, which serves children (0-21) covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Using a mixed methods evaluation design, Abt will employ qualitative and quantitative techniques tailored to different locales to capture information about the model’s implementation and provider, staff, child, and beneficiary experiences. Abt also will execute a quasi-experimental design to assess the impacts of the InCK model on children within and across the participating communities, and will explore how model variations affect impacts.

The Results

Using our deep knowledge of the multi-sectoral systems that serve high-risk children—from health care to welfare, education, and food security—Abt will deliver analysis and produce reports that provide a holistic understanding of the InCK model in the context of these systems.


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