Maternal and Child Health Services
How It Works
Under Title V, the federal government provides discretionary money to the states in the form of a block grant. The States then direct the funds to health clinics, health centers, and hospitals. States must match federal spending (3 state dollars for every 4 federal dollars) to provide access to maternal and child health care, primarily for low income persons. Each state designs a program to meet its own needs, however, all programs work to do a combination of the following:
- Facilitate the development of comprehensive, family-centered, community-based, culturally competent, coordinated systems of care for children with special health care needs
- Reduce infant mortality and incidence of handicapping conditions among children
- Provide and ensure access to comprehensive perinatal care for women; preventative and child care services; comprehensive care, including long-term care services, for children with special health care needs; and rehabilitation services for blind and disabled children under 16 years of age who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income
- Increase the number of children appropriately immunized against disease
- Increase the number of children in low-income households who receive assessments and follow-up diagnostic and treatment services
Title V funds programs that serve more than 27 million women, infants, and children every year, including 1.1 million children with special health care needs. States must spend atleast 30 percent of funds on prevention and primary care for children and adolescents and atleast 30 percent of funds on children with special health care needs. Administratively, on the federal level, Title V is the responsibility of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, which is a component of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Enacted in 1935 as part of the original Social Security Act the main goal of Title V spending was to develop medical and rehabilitation services for ‘crippled children’ who were diagnosed with poliomyelitis. With time the focus of the grants shifted but consistently has shown a priority to children with special health care needs since its inception.
In 2006, the appropriatations for Titile V was $31 million below the fiscal year (FY) 2005 appropriation. Without additional funding, state Maternal and Child Health Bureaus will not be able to continue to meet the increasing demand for services. To be able to continue to achieve success, many organizations, including the AAP, Ambulatory Pediatrics Association, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have advocated for a return to the FY 2005 level of $724 million.
- United States Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Understanding Title V of the Social Security Act. References
- United States Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Understanding Title V of the Social Security Act. Available at: ftp://ftp.hrsa.gov//mchb/titlevtoday/UnderstandingTitleV.pdf [pdf]