Foster Children: HHS Guidance Could Help States Improve Oversight of Psychotropic Prescriptions

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Foster children have often been removed from abusive or neglectful homes and tend to have more mental health conditions than other children. Treatment may include psychotropic drugs but their risks to children are not well understood. Medicaid, administered by states and overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides prescription drug coverage to foster children. This testimony examines (1) rates of psychotropic prescriptions for foster and nonfoster children in 2008 and (2) state oversight of psychotropic prescriptions for foster children through October 2011. GAO selected ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 1, 2011.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Foster children have often been removed from abusive or neglectful homes and tend to have more mental health conditions than other children. Treatment may include psychotropic drugs but their risks to children are not well understood. Medicaid, administered by states and overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), provides prescription drug coverage to foster children. This testimony examines (1) rates of psychotropic prescriptions for foster and nonfoster children in 2008 and (2) state oversight of psychotropic prescriptions for foster children through October 2011. GAO selected Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Texas primarily based on their geographic diversity and size of the foster care population. Results cannot be generalized to other states. In addition, GAO analyzed Medicaid fee-for-service and foster care data from selected states for 2008, the most recent year of prescription data available at the start of the audit. Maryland's 2008 foster care data was unreliable. GAO also used expert child psychiatrists to provide a clinical perspective on its methodology and analysis, reviewed regulations and state policies, and interviewed federal and state officials."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 1, 2011

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Foster Children: HHS Guidance Could Help States Improve Oversight of Psychotropic Prescriptions, text, December 1, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298285/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.