Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs Provides Important Data – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

Say Ahhh! readers should know about an important new data
source on Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN); the 2009/10 National
Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. This is the third survey in
this series, which is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and
conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. Using the Browse the
Data section, one can easily access national and state level data.

The new estimates reveal a rise in the number of children
aged 0-17 in the U.S. who are considered to have special health care needs,
from 14% or 11.2 million in 2005/2006, to 15.1 percent or 11.2 million children
in 2009/2010.  You can also compare
data within subgroups, such as age or sex. The 2009/10 findings show that boys
are more likely to be classified as girls (17.4 vs. 12.7 percent) as are
children aged 12-17 over those aged 0-5 (18.4 v 9.3 percent).

There are some great statistics on health insurance
coverage and program participation, which can be of great use to our Say Ahh
readers!  It includes three
indicators: CSHCN without insurance at some point during the year, CSHCN
without insurance at the time of the survey, and currently insured CSHCN whose
insurance is inadequate. In addition, you can filter health insurance coverage
by type, and find the percentage of CSHCN that have access to necessary

The insurance data underscores the integral role of
public health insurance coverage for CSHCN, which CCF has highlighted in the
past.  On average, 36
percent of CSHCN are covered only by public insurance; however, estimates range
from a high of 49 percent in the District of Columbia to a low of 38 percent in
Montana. Moreover, CSHCN with public insurance are more likely to have adequate
insurance coverage (69.4 percent), than those with private only (64.3 percent),
or a combination of public and private (64.1 percent).

In addition to health insurance figures, this source
provides a wealth of other information pertinent to advocates of CSHCN.  The survey questions, which were asked
of parents with CSHCN, are based on six core outcome that are essential to
promoting the development of CSHCN: 1) Families are partners in decision
making; 2) Coordinated, ongoing, comprehensive care within a medical home, 3)
Adequate insurance to cover needed services; 4) Early and continuous screening
for special health care needs; 5) Community-based service systems are organized
for ease of use 6) CSHCN youth receive services needed for transition to
adulthood. You can either browse data on each of these outcomes, or access data

If you aren’t sure how you can use the data, take a peak
at reports and issues briefs that other states have published, using the data.

Find some fast facts on the survey background and
methodology here.

The views expressed by Guest Bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Children and Families.

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