RELEASE: States Can Use Medicaid to Expand Home Visiting Programs, CAP Report Shows Why They Should
Related CAP Fact Sheet Shows States How to Do It
Washington, D.C. — State home visiting programs have been shown to improve the health and development of young children dealing with poverty and other toxic stressors. Interventions that help families provide a nurturing, healthy environment increase the likelihood of improved school readiness and child health. States have the ability to leverage Medicaid funding to expand home visiting, but many still struggle to reach all eligible children.
The Center for American Progress has released a report highlighting strategies that have worked in states where Medicaid supports home visiting and discussing the barriers and challenges some states face in leveraging these funds. Finally, the report offers state and federal recommendations designed to streamline funding mechanisms to support home visiting.
“Home visiting is a critical investment in America’s most vulnerable families that has been shown by study after study to be effective in improving health and developmental outcomes in children,” said Maura Calsyn, CAP’s Director of Health Policy and co-author of the report. “Unfortunately, some states have struggled to fully fund their programs. Medicaid can’t solve the entire problem, but there are ways to leverage Medicaid funds in order to supplement existing programs and make it possible for more home visitors to reach more families and children who need them.”
Home visiting professionals provide services that promote healthy child development and positive parenting through screenings, developmental benchmarks, maternal health, and child safety. Home visitors often develop supportive relationships with parents, helping them develop skills and practices that support a child’s physical, social, and emotional growth. This often results in improved health and school readiness, as well as improved academic achievement later on. It also results in cost savings for the state and federal government, as vulnerable families are given the ability to live healthier lives and access critical resources, saving money down the road.
The CAP report’s authors analyzed data from nine target states and conducted interviews with state-level administrators and stakeholders involved in implementing home visiting program finances. Those states—which presented a variety of home visiting programs—included California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.
In addition to the report, CAP released a fact sheet offering key strategies that states can use to start the process of using Medicaid funds to boost home visiting programs.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at email@example.com or 202.481.7141.