Priority: Work with SC DHHS to improve services and care coordination for children with medical complexity, most of whom rely upon Medicaid for coverage.
Background: ACE Kids Act, the Advancing Care for Exceptional Children, was signed into law by Congress as part of the Medicaid Services Investment and Accountability Act of 2019. Designed to address challenges in receiving care, the law gives state Medicaid programs the option and flexibility to create specialized medical homes for children with medical complexity. An estimated three million children in the United States are medically complex. A three-year pilot project to study care coordination models for children with medical complexity was funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMMI). (2015 – 2018) Known as the CARE Award, the project involved ten children’s hospitals across the country, eight state Medicaid programs, and more than 8,000 medically complex children. Results released in 2018 demonstrated a 32% decrease in inpatient days, a 26% decrease in emergency department visits, and a 3% overall decrease in spending.
Priority: Work collaboratively across the state to increase pediatric behavioral health capacity at all levels of service, additionally focusing on pediatric behavioral health workforce development.
Background: The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 children experience a mental health condition in any given year, and South Carolina lacks adequate behavioral health services for children and adolescents. Additional information can be found at Soundthealarmforkids.org. State-specific data can be found in the SC Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children 2022 Annual Report.