What are Well-Child Visits?
Well-child visits are medical appointments that include assessment of a child’s physical, emotional, and social development. These visits take place whether or not a child is sick and play an important role in maintaining a child’s health. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 3-6 have a yearly well-child visit with a primary care provider.
Why are Well-Child Visits Important?
Well-child visits are a critical venue for parental education, identifying health and developmental issues early, and preventing future problems. Health plans, providers and government agencies use well-child visits as a measure of the quality of care provided to children. The state of Oregon, in partnership with the federal government, provides health insurance for nearly 120,000 children ages 1 through 5 in low-income households through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).
Recognizing the relationship between health and education, a 2018 multidisciplinary Oregon workgroup developed a health system strategy to contribute to improved kindergarten readiness. In 2019 as part of this strategy, the Oregon Health Authority began public reporting on well-child visits for 3-6 year olds covered by OHP.
In 2019, over 68% of children ages 3-6 in OHP had one or more well-child visits statewide. However, Oregon’s measurement was below the national Medicaid benchmark of over 79%. Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs), the local networks of health care providers that serve the OHP members, were be able to earn incentive payments based on this metric starting in 2020. Publicly reporting how Oregon compares to the national benchmark helps policymakers understand whether children are receiving the preventive care they need and where improvements may be required.
To learn more about the Medicaid well-child visit data presented here, check out our Technical Dictionary.
Please remember the following
- OCID only includes children born in Oregon since 2001; ideally, the dataset will be expanded over time to represent all of the children in Oregon.
- To display race and ethnicity categories consistently across multiple data sources, OCID currently combines information from vital statistics, education, Medicaid, and child welfare records. Visit our Race and Ethnicity Data Overview to learn more.
- To protect the identities of individuals, OCID only shows results for populations; where populations are too small and could risk revealing identifiable information, OCID displays the result as “Suppressed.”
Ready to explore the data?
The indicator display below provides two views:
- A dashboard view for a structured way to look at the indicator by selecting a geography and then 1-2 other attributes; and,
- A “sandbox” view for freely exploring the various attributes.
Please visit the About OCID and Explore OCID Population pages before exploring the data. For details on the indicator, attributes, data sources, and limitations, please visit the Well-being Dashboard Technical Dictionary.
What explains any trends and disparities?
We don’t know yet. The Dashboard shows descriptive data, not causal relationships. In depth analyses are needed to understand why disparities or trends occur.
The OCID team conducts targeted analyses using advanced statistical methods to shed light on policy questions prioritized by the Governance Committee. These analyses aim to provide Oregon-specific and timely information for policymakers, allowing them to take a data-driven approach to improving outcomes for Oregon’s children. Sign up below to receive OCID updates.
Suggested citation: Center for Evidence-based Policy, Oregon Health & Science University. Medicaid Well-Child Visits Ages 3-6 dashboard. Oregon Child Integrated Dataset (OCID) website. https://www.ocid-cebp.org/outcome/medicaid-well-child-visits-ages-3-6/. Published February 5, 2021.
The Center for Evidence-based Policy partners with the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness, also at Oregon Health & Science University, on dashboard analytics.