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Payment Reform Series

Statement of Problem

Advancing health equity for children and families requires changing how health care services are paid for and what is paid for, particularly within public programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Reimbursement policy—or how health care providers are paid for the services they deliver—enables and guides health care delivery, creating incentives for treatment and services that can entrench or act against disparities. 

For instance, without Medicaid reimbursement for screening and interventions that identify and address unmet social needs, many pediatric providers will not have the resources to assist families who struggle with unsafe housing, unhealthy foods, and unaffordable transportation to medical appointments, resulting in worse health outcomes for patients living in under-resourced communities. Reforms to health care payment policy can be challenging but can structurally transform how health care is delivered and must be done with a focus on scaling and sustaining evidence-based best practice and advancing equity.  


Next Steps

PolicyLab is continuing work on this payment reform series and plans to leverage our work to support policy changes that promote a more equitable and innovative health care financing system. For example, we are currently evaluating and exploring sustainable implementation of HealthySteps, which utilizes the pediatric primary care setting to support healthy early childhood development and effective parenting.

This project page was last updated in March 2023.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Payment Reform Series [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here].