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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 15: Continuous and Adequate Insurance

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Strategy. Relief Funds

Approach. Establish a state relief fund to support families of CYSHCN with financial burdens.

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Overview. Many families raising children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) have higher routine expenses for such things as transportation to and from appointments, parking, electricity, and specialized clothing that health insurance does not typically cover but that are directly related to a child’s health needs. Families also incur additional expenses to modify a vehicle or housing. To help with the extraordinary expenses that can overwhelm a family’s budget, several states have relief funds that help families avoid financial hardship and medical debt.1

Evidence. Expert Opinion/Field Generated. The Catalyst Center/National Center for Health Insurance and Financing for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) has identified this strategy as an innovative strategy. Read more in theirĀ practice report.

Target Audience. State/Systems.

Outcome. Percent of children, ages 0 through 17, who are continuously and adequately insured. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs across all states/jurisdictions that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.

Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Establish a state relief fund to support families of CYSHCN with financial burdens,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of families who have received outreach about relief funds to cover costs for CYSHCN.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of families who have received outreach about relief funds to cover costs for CYSHCN.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of families able to afford insurance after receiving financial assistance from state relief fund.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of families able to afford insurance after receiving financial assistance from state relief fund.

Notes. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4):

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


Reference:

1 Catalyst Center/National Center for Health Insurance and Financing for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs. Relief Funds Financing Strategy.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.