Priority: Invest in South Carolina’s children’s hospitals to ensure that children can continue to receive state-of-the-art care in the state.
Background: Approximately 65% of children in South Carolina are covered by Medicaid, a publicly funded health insurance program. Medicaid reimbursement does not cover the cost of care – let alone the costs to update and maintain infrastructure and medical technology. Funding received from other sources, i.e. commercial insurance and philanthropy, does not cover the gap, leaving the children’s hospitals without adequate resources to update infrastructure.
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.
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: Maintain telehealth flexibilities post pandemic, particularly those flexibilities that increase access to care for children with medical or developmental complexity.
Background: The South Carolina Children’s Hospital Collaborative (SCCHC) is a collaborative partner with the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance (SCTA), a statewide collaboration of health systems, providers, state agencies, and other shared-mission support organizations that work together to improve the lives of all South Carolinians through telehealth. SCCHC co-leads a SCTA pediatric telehealth workgroup focusing on the development of quality pediatric telehealth programs. SCCHC strongly supports the SCTA position that long-term enactment of telehealth flexibilities is critical to maintain access to care even past the pandemic. For more information on the SCTA position regarding telehealth policy, click here