The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit provides comprehensive and preventive health care services for children under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid. EPSDT is key to ensuring that children and adolescents receive appropriate preventive, dental, mental health, and developmental, and specialty services.
States are required to provide comprehensive services and furnish all Medicaid coverable, appropriate, and medically necessary services needed to correct and ameliorate health conditions, based on certain federal guidelines. EPSDT is made up of the following screening, diagnostic, and treatment services:
- Comprehensive health and developmental history
- Comprehensive unclothed physical exam
- Appropriate immunizations (according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices)
- Laboratory tests (including lead toxicity screening
- Health Education (anticipatory guidance including child development, healthy lifestyles, and accident and disease prevention)
At a minimum, diagnosis and treatment for defects in vision, including eyeglasses. Vision services must be provided according to a distinct periodicity schedule developed by the state and at other intervals as medically necessary.
At a minimum, dental services include relief of pain and infections, restoration of teeth, and maintenance of dental health. Dental services may not be limited to emergency services. Each state is required to develop a dental periodicity schedule in consultation with recognized dental organizations involved in child health.
At a minimum, hearing services include diagnosis and treatment for defects in hearing, including hearing aids.
Other Necessary Health Care Services
States are required to provide any additional health care services that are coverable under the Federal Medicaid program and found to be medically necessary to treat, correct or reduce illnesses and conditions discovered regardless of whether the service is covered in a state’s Medicaid plan. It is the responsibility of states to determine medical necessity on a case-by-case basis.
When a screening examination indicates the need for further evaluation of an individual’s health, diagnostic services must be provided. Necessary referrals should be made without delay and there should be follow-up to ensure the enrollee receives a complete diagnostic evaluation. States should develop quality assurance procedures to assure that comprehensive care is provided.
Necessary health care services must be made available for treatment of all physical and mental illnesses or conditions discovered by any screening and diagnostic procedures.