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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. Outreach Using Parent Mentors

Approach. Use trained parent mentors to assist families with getting insurance coverage, accessing health care, and addressing social determinants of health.

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Overview. Parent mentors are a special category of community health workers in which parents who have children with particular health conditions/risks leverage their relevant experience, along with training, to support other parents of children with the same health conditions/risks. Parents of minority (Latino) children leverage their own experiences to mentor other parents. Using community case managers training, parent mentors are trained to assist families in getting insurance coverage, access health care, and address social determinants of health.1,2

Evidence. Moderate. There is strong evidence that parent mentors are more effective and less expensive than traditional methods in improving insurance coverage for minority children, improving health care access, achieving parental satisfaction, reducing unmet healthcare needs, providing children with primary care providers, and improving the quality of well-child and subspecialty care. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. Caregivers and children.

Outcomes. Children from minority backgrounds obtain health insurance; parents are satisfied with the process of obtaining insurance; children from minority backgrounds have access to quality health care; unmet health care needs are addressed; parents are satisfied with quality of pediatric care; and reduce financial burden for parents. 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 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 “Use trained parent mentors to assist minority families in getting insurance coverage, access health care, and address social determinants of health,” 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 parents from minority backgrounds trained to become parent mentors.
  • Number of families from minority backgrounds assisted by parent mentors.

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

  • Percent of parents who were satisfied with the process of obtaining health insurance with the help of parent mentors.
  • Percent of parents who were satisfied with the health care given to their children.

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

  • Number of children from minority backgrounds who obtained health insurance with the help of parent mentors.
  • Number of children from minority backgrounds who gained access to health care with the help of parent mentors.

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

  • Percent of children from minority backgrounds who had unmet health care needs addressed.

Note. 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.


References:

1 Flores G, Lin H, Walker C, Lee M, Currie JM, Allgeyer R, Fierro M, Henry M, Portillo A, Massey K. Parent mentors and insuring uninsured children: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2016 Apr 1;137(4).

2 Flores G, Lin H, Walker C, Lee M, Currie J, Allgeyer R, Fierro M, Henry M, Portillo A, Massey K. Parent mentoring program increases coverage rates for uninsured Latino children. Health Affairs. 2018 Mar 1;37(3):403-12.

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.