Interim Evaluation Report: Congressionally Mandated Evaluation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. III. Evaluation Design

02/26/2003

This chapter describes the design of each of the evaluation components and explains how these components, together, will yield a rich and integrated evaluation of SCHIP. The study will provide both a profile of the program at the national level and state-specific analyses. Further, it will explore whether and how important program outcomes vary by subpopulation.

The time frame that Congress provided for a report on the evaluation could not be met, given the scope and requirements of the evaluation mandate. Indeed, significant aspects of the required work--in particular, the enrollee survey and related analyses--were infeasible in the time frame allowed. Consequently, following consultation with Congressional staff, ASPE developed a research strategy that would enable the Secretary to provide a preliminary report on the full range of issues specified in the mandate early on, and a final report on findings at the end of the three-year-long evaluation. To illustrate, this first report's description and analysis of states' program choices and their outcomes are based on the first six of the ten case studies completed for the evaluation. The analysis of program perceptions, attitudes and experiences among families whose children are eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP is based on: (1) a focus group study including 51 diverse focus groups across nine states and (2) preliminary data from a 50-state survey of parents of low-income, uninsured children. These efforts provide valuable new information for this first report. However, a richer and more rigorous quantitative analysis will be available for the final report, based on all ten of the state case studies, a nationally representative survey of enrollees and disenrollees in all ten of those states, and the final data files from the survey of parents of eligible-but-uninsured children.

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