Report Ranks Child Health Data, Maryland Scores a ‘Mixed Bag’

An annual report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Book, uses health, education, economic well-being, and family and community indicators to determine how children and families across the nation are fairing. States are ranked according to these measures. This year Maryland ranked 16th in the nation for overall child well-being.

ABC2 News reports:

Umunna helped supply the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the publisher of the KIDS COUNT Data Book, with Maryland data. He said the latest information is a mixed bag. There were some improvements as well as some worrisome trends.

“We also see numbers in that report that are not very positive, particularly in the area of health,” said Umunna.

There were more child and teen deaths in 2015, which is 70 more than the year prior. While the numbers don’t specify the reason behind the spike, Umunna and his team have identified some factors.

“One of them is opioid abuse, and also the lack of prenatal care and other factors, so we think [health] is the particular area that should be looked at,” he said.

The percentage of teens who abuse alcohol or drugs is the same as five years ago. It remained steady at 6 percent. The stagnation coupled with the death rate contributed to the state’s drop in overall health rank from 22 to 30.

However, there was significant improvement in the number of children with health insurance in Maryland and nationwide.

“We see a very steep drop in the number of children who are uninsured nationally,” said Umunna.

U.S. children with health insurance is at 95 percent, a historic high. The report’s authors credit the bump to the Affordable Care Act and expansions to Medicaid and the children’s health insurance programs, the same programs that could be seeing cuts in the future.

According to the report Maryland ranked 15th in economic well-being, 12th in education, 30th for health, and 20th for family and community.

Read the ABC2 News article and Annie E. Casey Foundation Report for more information.

Maryland’s health care system and the potential impacts pending federal changes may have on it will be a topic of discussion at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference session “The ABCs of ACA, ACHA and Health Care in Maryland” on Thursday, August 17, from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm. More information about the session is available in the registration brochure.

The MACo Summer Conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!” and will focus on economic development, job growth, and counties as employers.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: