June 23, 2021 Network in the Know

All foster children in New York to be enrolled in managed care

In 2013, children in direct foster care placements (i.e., children placed in foster homes certified by the local Department of Social Services outside of New York City) were mandatorily enrolled in managed care. This provision did not, however, apply to children placed in the care of a Voluntary Foster Care Agency (VFCA). As of July 1, 2021, though, children placed in VFCAs statewide will be automatically enrolled in managed care, with few exceptions.

As part of this transition, VFCAs may choose to become a licensed health care provider through New York State Public Health Law Article 29-I. This will allow VFCAs to provide certain physical and mental health services, as well as enter into agreements with managed care companies that provide these services.

Compared to children from similar socioeconomic backgrounds outside of the foster care system, children in foster care have higher rates of birth defects, developmental delays, mental and behavioral health needs, and physical disabilities. Additionally, children in foster care utilize inpatient and outpatient mental health services at a rate 15 to 20 times higher than the general pediatric Medicaid population.* For these reasons, access to comprehensive, high quality health care is especially critical for foster children. As CDPHP approaches the July 1 implementation date, we are working with internal and external partners to ensure all parties are fully prepared to support the needs of this high-risk population.

If you are treating a child in the foster care system and have questions about how this transition may impact you or your patient, please contact our CDPHP Foster Care Liaison, Brianne Sullivan, by email or phone (518-641-3479).

*American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Health Care for Children in Foster Care, Fostering Health: Health Care for Children and Adolescents in Foster Care. (New York: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005).; and Mark D. Simms, Howard Dubowitz and Moira A. Szilagyi, “Health Care Needs of Children in the Foster Care System,” Pediatrics 2000;106(4 Suppl):909- 918.; and Dutton M Fiori T, Karl A, Sobelson M. Medicaid managed care for children in foster care. In: Fund Medicaid Institute at United Hospital, editor: UHF; 2013.

Adele O'Connell
About the Author

Adele joined CDPHP in 2004 as an internal communications and event specialist. She then spent eight years coordinating the company’s community relations and corporate events program, in which capacity she worked with a host of non-profit organizations and co-chaired the CDPHP annual Charity of Choice campaign. Currently, she is a communications specialist and coordinator of corporate member engagement and serves on the boards of two local charities. Prior to CDPHP, Adele served as a legislative assistant for a trade association and as an acquisitions and developmental editor, specializing in educational and medical publishing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Rosemont College.

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