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Guide to Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis Treatment (EPSDT) for Children

EPSDT (Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis Treatment) yearly screenings are key to ensuring that children and young adults receive preventative, dental, mental health, developmental and specialty services. EPSDT screenings are recommended for children and young adults under 21 years old. In Florida, the program is often called Well Child Visits.

Early: Treat problems soon.
Periodic: Set up regular appointments.
Screening: Do physical, mental, developmental, dental, hearing, vision and other screening tests to detect potential problems.
Diagnosis: Perform diagnostic tests to follow up when a risk is identified.
Treatment: Care for the problems found. 

Why are EPSDT screenings important?

Seeing a primary care provider (PCP) regularly and caring for problems early could:

  • Help your PCP get to know your child
  • Help your child stay healthy as he or she grows
  • Find health problems before they get worse
  • Stop health problems that make it hard for your child to learn

How do you start?

Make an appointment with your child’s primary care provider (PCP).

Getting a screening at the right time is the best way to make sure your child continues to be healthy. Children and young adults under 21 years need a checkup every year. These Well Child Visits are the best way to make sure your child continues to be healthy.

The program covers all medically necessary services without limit to correct or improve defects. This means services do not have to be considered a cure to be covered. Services that maintain or improve a child’s physical or behavioral health condition are covered. This is especially important for children with disabilities to prevent conditions from worsening, reduce pain or avert the development of additional illnesses.

Services can include:

  • Physician, nurse practitioner and hospital care
  • Physical, speech/language, and occupational therapies
  • Home health services, including medical equipment, supplies, and appliances
  • Treatment for behavioral health and substance use disorders 
  • Treatment for vision, hearing and dental diseases and disorders
  • Immunizations/vaccines

The program does not cover experimental or investigational treatments. A service does not need to cure a condition to be covered. This is especially important for children with disabilities because services can prevent conditions from worsening, reduce pain, or avert the development of additional illnesses.

Screenings can include:

  • Comprehensive health and developmental history
  • Development and behavioral screening
  • Vision, dental and hearing screening
  • Lab tests, including lead toxicity

Recommended vaccine schedules for all ages are located on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Yes. Vaccines are very safe and are important for children’s health. If you have questions about vaccines, please contact us or your healthcare provider.

After the screening, the provider will help you understand the results. If you do not understand something, feel free to ask your child’s provider. Here are the steps that could be taken if the provider finds a problem:

  • For vision problems, your child could visit an eye doctor and get glasses.
  • For hearing problems, your child could see a specialist and receive hearing aids.
  • For problems that may require special attention, the provider will treat the issue. Or refer your child to a specialist.

Call the Member Services phone number on the back of your member ID card to get help with:

  • Finding a provider or dentist
  • Setting up an appointment
  • Arranging transportation
  • Answering your questions about screenings or vaccines