Health care policy analysis of Medicaid's early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) benefit in Colorado
The purpose of this thesis is to identify "best practice" recommendations for successful implementation of the EPSDT outreach program at Memorial Health System's Hospital for Children in Colorado Springs through a policy analysis of Medicaid EPSDT services in Colorado. A successful program at Memorial will increase education and awareness of EPSDT services, enrollment, and access to and utilization of health care services for eligible children. Methodology utilized in this study included questionnaires designed for the EPSDT contract administrator and outreach coordinators/workers; analysis of current federal and state policies; and studies conducted at the federal and state level, and by various advocacy groups. The need for this analysis of EPSDT came about in part through an awareness of increasingly high numbers of children in poverty and who are uninsured. Though the percentage of children living in poverty in Colorado is slightly below the national average (see Table 2), according to data analyzed by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the percentage of children (0-18) living in poverty in Colorado increased from 10% in 2000 to 16% in 2006, a dramatic increase of 60% surpassed by only one other state in the nation (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2008). By comparison, the U.S. percentage of children in poverty during the same time frame rose from 17% to 18% (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2008). What kind of health care services are available to this vulnerable and growing group of Coloradans, and what are the barriers that affect their enrollment in, access to and utilization of these health care services? Barriers identified included difficulty with the application process; system and process issues; a lack of providers; and a lack of awareness and knowledge of EPSDT. Fiscal restraints and legislation at the federal and state level are also barriers to increasing enrollment and access to services. Outreach services are a critical component of providing EPSDT services, and there were several recommendations regarding outreach and case management that will benefit the program in the future. Through this analysis and identification of a broad range of barriers, a clearer picture emerged of current challenges within the EPSDT program as well as a broad range of strategies and recommendations to address these challenges. Through increased education and advocacy for EPSDT and the services it encompasses; stronger collaboration and cooperation between all groups involved, including providing a Medical Home for all eligible children; and new legislation putting more money and focus on comprehensive health care for low-income uninsured children; enrollment, access to and utilization of developmentally appropriate and quality health care services can be achieved.
Dugger, Kimberly, "Health care policy analysis of Medicaid's early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) benefit in Colorado" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1457587.