Need to Establish National Healthcare Standards for Children, Study Suggests

The study published in Health Affairs recommends standardization of benefit plans across states for children, especially those related to developmental abilities.

Instead of establishing a federal gold standard for children's health, HHS has allowed states to choose from a menu of benchmark plans, a decision that runs contrary to the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine.

As a result, the Affordable Care Act's promise of essential health benefits has not been realized, according to Aimee Grace, MD, MPH, a fellow at Children's National Health System. Dr Grace joined a panel of experts at a Health Affairs forum devoted to children's health.

In a new report, Dr Grace and her colleagues used plan summaries from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight to compare the benefits from every state and Washington, DC, and determine which services, specifically those relevant to children, were included and excluded.

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