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New Brief Outlines Opportunities for Medicaid & CHIP to Support Early Literacy

Today, in partnership with Reach Out and Read, PolicyLab released a new policy brief authored by an interdisciplinary group of primary care providers, early literacy researchers, and policy experts that provides recommendations on how states could use Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to improve equitable access to Reach Out and Read.

Reading aloud regularly with babies and toddlers is one of the most effective ways for parents and caregivers to boost early brain development, however it can be challenging for families to create and sustain these routines amid competing stressors. As a regular, trusted touchpoint for families, the pediatric primary care medical home can support early literacy and language development through programs like Reach Out and Read, an evidence-based model that trains medical providers to use children’s books as a tool to connect with families at pediatric well visits.

This new resource reflects PolicyLab’s growing interest in equity-focused payment reform, which includes a series of briefs that compile evidence and explore levers for sustainably financing pediatric delivery system innovations that advance health equity and support the health of all youth.

Read our new policy brief here

We would also like to recognize Katie Lane and Donna Cohen Ross as co-authors on the brief alongside our PolicyLab team.