A study released this week by a federal watchdog group found that Ohio ranks last for children enrolled in Medicaid receiving free preventive exams and screenings (Source: “Millions Of Medicaid Kids Missing Regular Checkups,” Kaiser Health News, Nov. 13, 2014).
According to the report from Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, in 2013 just 30 percent of Ohio children enrolled in Medicaid received at least one screening.
Congress introduced the Medicaid benefit, known as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program, or EPSDT, in 1967 so that children would get age-appropriate diagnostic tests, including for vision and hearing, preventive services such as immunizations and treatments. About 32 million children on Medicaid were eligible for the benefit in 2013.
Alaska, at 36 percent, was the only other state where less than 40 percent of children on Medicaid recieved a screening. California ranked highest, at 100 percent, followed by Iowa, at 81 percent, are the only two states to exceed HHS’s goal of 80 percent participation in the program.