Reporting on FY 2016 Child Core Set Includes Key Developmental Screening Measure

Little Assistant Examines Teddy Bear. Male Hand Holds Bear

State voluntary reporting for FY 2016 of the Child Core Set of Health Care Quality Measures is now available on Medicaid.gov. As it has done for the past two cycles, CMS provides a helpful downloadable dataset of state reporting. Fifty states reported at least one measure, with 45 reporting at least half of the 26 measures. The median number of measures was 18 for FY 2016, up from 16 the previous year.

The dataset includes only those measures that were reported by at least 25 states. We were excited to see that the developmental screening measure hit that threshold for the first time with 26 states reporting. This measure assesses the share of children who received a developmental screening using a standardized tool (such as ages and stages) that meets four criteria.

The data clearly shows there is work to be done to guarantee that more children receive the age-appropriate screenings to ensure their healthy development. State rates ranged from a low of 1.6 percent of eligible children in Alaska to 77.5 percent in Massachusetts.

Core Set

As of this writing, CMS has posted only a very brief overview of the findings. It highlights that median state performance exceeded 75 percent on measures of access to primary care and timeliness of prenatal care. Median performance was below 50 percent on dental and oral health access and the developmental screening measure.

The agency has indicated that a report/chart pack with useful maps that show a state’s comparative ranking within four quartiles is in the works. We’ll be looking for that and digging in deeper to assess how well states are doing in reporting these key quality indicators, and to identify the highest performing states so that we can look to them for best practices in delivering high quality care for kids in Medicaid and CHIP.

Tricia Brooks
Tricia Brooks is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Children and Families

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