Medicaid at 50: Catch up day 12: Autism

The CDC estimates that nearly 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children with autism require special services beyond the regular medical system– social services and supports. Last year, CMS, recognizing this special need, released guidance to states about how to provide services for these children under their Medicaid and CHIP programs. Check it out! 

This week People are gathering from across the country to talk about Medicaid coverage of ASD in Iowa.

One major topic of that conversation will be how to improve medication management for children with ASD and other mental impairments. 2/3rds of children with ASD are prescribed antipsychotic medication, many more than one. One problem is that little is known about how long to keep kids on these medications or what effect they have on children when combined.

Medicaid covers about 1/3 of children with behavioral health disorders. It is increasingly important to the treatment and coverage of mental disorders and the directions that states take in this area can have broad impacts on the private market.