CMS sees 'drastic' decline in children's health services: 5 things to know

Rates for vaccines, primary care and preventative services among children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program have dropped steeply during the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS said Sept. 23. 

Five things to know: 

1. Preliminary data from Medicaid and CHIP show between March and May, vaccination rates among children up to age 2 have fallen 22 percent compared to the same period last year.

2. Child screening services that assess physical and cognitive development are down 44 percent year over year even after accounting for increased telehealth use.

3. Dental services among children are down 69 percent year over year, according to CMS.

4. CMS said state and local governments, providers and schools should prioritize bringing those metrics back up, and "strive to treat the millions of children who have already missed important medical services. This is essential, as missing these services can have long-term negative impacts on children’s health outcomes," CMS said. 

5. National data do show vaccination rates are beginning to increase. Still, the number of vaccines administered in the back half of the year hasn't caught up with declines from earlier this year.

More articles on public health:
Wisconsin governor declares new public health emergency, issues new face mask rule
200,000 COVID-19 deaths in context: Local & global virus stats
200,000 US deaths reinforce need for COVID-19 precautions, healthcare associations say

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