Virginia ranked 48th, or third from the bottom, among states for providing all needed support services to families of special-needs children, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation headquartered in New York City, released Virginia's 2011 State Scorecard on Child Health System Performance, which ranks states on a number of factors related to children's health care by compiling data from a number of sources.
Overall, Virginia ranked 24th. Iowa and Massachusetts tied for No. 1. Nevada came in last.
Virginia ranked high in access and affordability. It came in fourth for the percentage of insured children whose health insurance coverage is adequate to meet needs, according to 2007 numbers. It also ranked fourth for its average total premium for employer-based family coverage, which was 14.8 percent of median family household income, according to 2009 figures.
It ranked ninth for percentage of children needing mental health treatment or counseling who received it, according to 2007 statistics.
But it fell near the bottom in helping families who have children with special needs access support services, according to data from 2005-06.
It can be hard to coordinate services for children once they're discharged from the hospital, said Dr. Bryan Fine, a pediatric hospitalist at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk who holds a master's degree in public health.
Sometimes, a child must stay an extra day if transportation can't be arranged. Coordinating with home care services, especially in smaller areas where there aren't a lot of competitive options, can be difficult, Fine said. He recently treated an autism patient who's having a hard time getting services.
A bill under consideration by the General Assembly would make it easier for some autism patients to get treatment. The bill would require some employer insurance plans to cover applied behavior analysis treatment for autism.
To help families get services, CHKD houses a local office of the Care Connection for Children, a statewide nework of services that help families coordinate community and educational resources with medical expertise.
The program provides case management and care coordination services with independent specialists and practitioners regardless of family income. Qualifying children have hearing, craniofacial, urologic, rheumatologic, orthopedic and neurological disorders, as well as conditions such as diabetes, spina bifida and cystic fibrosis, according to CHKD. For more information, call 668-7132.
Virginia ranked 29th for its rate of infant mortality, which was 7.1 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to 2006 figures. It ranked 15th for its child mortality rate, which was 18 deaths per 100,000 children ages 1 to 14, according to 2007 numbers.
It ranked 27th for childhood obesity, with 31 percent of children ages 10 to 17 who are overweight or obese, according to 2007 statistics.
State scorecard on children's health system: A on access; F on support
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