Addressing Children’s Behavioral Health Needs Through Changes to DC’s Medicaid Program

The Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) recently announced plans to move towards a fully managed Medicaid program over the next five years. This provides an opportunity to address the challenges children and their families face when seeking behavioral health services and ensure all children covered by Medicaid have a well-functioning behavioral health system.
To support this transition, Children's Law Center, Children's National Hospital, the District of Columbia Behavioral Health Association, Early Childhood Innovation Network, and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry collaborated to publish Addressing Children's Behavioral Health Needs Through Changes to DC's Medicaid Program.
The paper identifies three broad areas of opportunity where DHCF's work can strengthen DC's public behavioral health system for children, youth, and families, and provides specific recommendations to consider during the implementation of the transition to a fully managed Medicaid program.