Although children who use behavioral health services represent a small portion of the overall Medicaid population, Medicaid programs are a major source of funding for children’s behavioral health care.

This data brief, made possible through support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is an update to CHCS’ national analysis of 2005 Medicaid claims data for children’s behavioral health. It highlights children’s behavioral health care service utilization and expenditures based on 2008 Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) data. The analysis may provide helpful insights to guide improvements in care coordination, delivery, and financing for this vulnerable population.

*Sheila Pires is a senior consultant to the Center for Health Care Strategies’ (CHCS) child health quality team; Roopa Mahadevan is a former CHCS employee.