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Matern Child Health J. 1997 Mar;1(1):15-23.

Monitoring health care for children with chronic conditions in a managed care environment.

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Pediatric Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.



Children with chronic health conditions face special issues in their interactions with managed care. These children often require additional and more varied services than do other children. Managed care plans increasingly include these children, especially with the growth of Medicaid managed care. This article examines the special issues facing children with chronic conditions and develops strategies for monitoring their care in managed care settings.


The project staff conducted an extensive review of the research and policy literature related to managed care and the special needs of families with children with chronic conditions. The project also reviewed current and proposed plans of federal, state, and private groups for monitoring and, working with parents and other outside groups, identified key issues to consider in developing monitoring plans.


The relative rarity of many childhood conditions and the complex interactions among child, family, and community over time make assessment of their care difficult. We describe these child and family characteristics, outline essential features and domains for monitoring systems, and describe population-based and plan-based monitoring systems to assess managed care for these children and their families.


Monitoring for children with chronic conditions in managed care arrangements will require public health agencies and health providers to define populations systematically, assess across a variety of conditions, and monitor several domains central to the health of these families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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