State Medicaid Child Behavioral Health Data: Dashboard Library Update

First debuted in 2021, CCF’s Child Health Dashboard Library highlights states that post important information about children with Medicaid/CHIP into a central and easily accessible location in a readable (or even better, interactive) format. This includes data on enrollment, quality of care, utilization rates, and managed care performance – the type of information that is critical to improving quality and care but is often buried in state reports or difficult to interpret. Since its launch, the CCF team has added to the Child Health Dashboard Library including new states and additional sorting options.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we are pleased to announce that we’ve now included tracking of child Behavioral Health Specific Data in the Dashboard Library. Spotlights of states including Medicaid behavioral health data in their dashboards include:

  • Iowa – which includes children’s behavioral/mental health treatment and services by managed care plan as well as information on children’s mental health waiver services in the state’s MCO Quarterly Performance Reports. It also outlines more general provider network access metrics such as provider count, number of members with access, and average distance in miles for both outpatient and inpatient behavioral health services.
  • New Hampshire – that offers a customizable report feature allowing users to choose from a wide range of behavioral health measures including child-specific health measures like follow up after hospitalization for mental health-related conditions, readmissions for mental health conditions, care coordination, and polypharmacy metrics.
  • Virginia – which provides an interactive dashboard including vital financial information such as total amount paid and average amount paid per member receiving behavioral health services. These metrics can be disaggregated by age group as well as program (managed care or fee-for-services) and type of behavioral health service.

As you’ll often hear from  CCF, we can’t improve on what we don’t measure. And while the evidence continues to make clear we are in the midst of an ongoing children’s mental health crisis, basic, publicly accessible behavioral health data like the information highlighted above is lacking in the majority of states. This is an issue that is particularly concerning as we look to meet the mental health needs of children and youth – over half of which are covered by Medicaid (the primary payer of behavioral health care in the US) and its smaller companion program, CHIP.

The CCF Dashboard Library provides an opportunity to help identify how states can do better in publicly reporting on Medicaid/CHIP child health data. Take a look around. See something you like or think is particularly interesting? Consider talking to your state about making the data public or replicating it on their dashboard. And if there is a state dashboard that is new or we’ve missed, please send our way! We’d love to add it to the Dashboard Library.