How Does California Perform on the Quality of Health Care for Children Enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP?

Since 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released an “Annual Report on the Quality of Care for Children in Medicaid and CHIP.” The report includes data submitted by the states on the Child Core Set of Health Care Quality Measures (child core set) and summarizes the results of the External Quality Review (EQR) of Medicaid Managed Care Plans from state EQR technical reports. This analytic brief presents a snapshot of the 2015 report’s findings on the child core set of measures reported by California for calendar year 2014.

Overall, California lags behind reporting on the child core set with only 12 states reporting fewer measures than the 12 measures reported by California in 2014. Without more robust reporting, assessing California’s performance in providing high quality health care is incomplete at best. Performance on the measures reported by California most often fall into the 2nd or 3rd quartile in comparison to other reporting states, illustrating that the state has room for improvement in order to become a top performing state in assuring access to care and advancing health outcomes for the 5.7 million low-income children served by the state’s Medicaid program known as Medi-Cal.