CHIP: Mathematica Gets Contract to Evaluate CHIP Programs
HCFA has awarded a five-year, $4.2 million contract to New Jersey-based Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to study the Title XXI Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)'s progress toward expanding access to health insurance for children from low-income families. The two-phase evaluation will be used to help HCFA and Congress "understand how different CHIP programs operate, assess how well they are performing and highlight best practices." News of the contract came just two days after President Clinton announced an impending federal investigation of all states to uncover improper exclusions of people eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, signaling his "disappointment at the way some states have carried out" the program. The study's first phase will track changes in the number of uninsured children before and after the program's initiation based on state evaluations and external studies. The second phase will focus on a national evaluation assessing "the impact of CHIP on enrollment, expenditures, use of services, access, and quality of care by contrasting state- designed plans with Medicare plans" in an effort to "shed light on how CHIP programs are functioning and provide information to diverse constituencies about the program." Dr. Margo Rosenbach, a Mathematica vice president and director of the study, said, "CHIP holds the promise to improve access to health insurance and health care for low-income uninsured children. This contract provides an important opportunity to systematically evaluate how well this program is working in each state." The project is expected to be completed in 2004 (Mathematica release 8/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.