Federal regulations encourage state Medicaid agencies to use external quality review organizations (EQROs) to help implement strategies for assessing and improving the quality of medical services provided to beneficiaries enrolled in managed care plans. However, many states have not availed themselves of this opportunity and may lack guidance on how to do so. This report provides agencies with specifications for developing a scope of work that will lead to conceptually and methodologically sound studies of the quality of preventive and developmental services for young children enrolled in Medicaid. Among other recommendations, the authors note that states may require EQROs to conduct activities like determining compliance with federal Medicaid managed care regulations, measuring performance in terms of preventive and developmental services; and recommending and evaluating performance improvement projects. Creating an infrastructure to monitor the quality of care will have a lasting impact on the health of children, their families, and society.
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