The Massachusetts maternal and child health (MCH) agency has developed a needs assessment process which includes four components: a statistical measure of need based on indirect, proxy health and social indicators; clinical standards for services to be provided; an advisory process which guides decision making and involves constituency groups; and a management system for implementing funds distribution, namely open competitive bidding in response to a Request for Proposals. In Fiscal Years 1982 and 1983, the process was applied statewide in the distribution of primary prenatal (MIC) and pediatric (C & Y) care services and lead poisoning prevention projects. Both processes resulted in clearer definitions of services to be provided under contract to the state as well as redistribution of funds to serve localities that had previously received no resources. Although the needs assessment process does not provide a direct measure of unmet need in a complex system of private and public services, it can be used to advocate for increased MCH funding and guide the distribution of new MCH service dollars.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health