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Shifting the Care and Payment Paradigm for Vulnerable Children

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This Evidence to Action brief provides an in-depth look at the relationship between socioeconomic status and the processes of care that enhance value and health outcomes for children.

Investigators at PolicyLab and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) conducted a series of studies from 2009 to 2013 analyzing service utilization at children’s hospitals across the country. These studies examined children’s health care resource utilization, hospital length of stay and inpatient mortality in relation to ZIP code-based median annual household income and confirmed that children with psychosocial and economic risk factors have higher health care costs.  

This brief: (1) discusses the connection between poverty and child health, (2) describes the evidence from the PolicyLab-CHA studies, and (3) offers ideas about how to redirect resources to improve health outcomes for children with psychosocial and economic risk factors. 


Jonas J, Eder J, Noonan K, Rubin D, Fieldston E