The 2012 Legislature directed the Institute to assess the costs and benefits of implementing the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures Guidelines for well-child visits and developmental screening in medical assistance programs. Currently, federal regulations require non-grandfathered private health plans to comply with Bright Futures, but state Medicaid programs can choose whether to implement the guidelines or not.
We analyzed Washington Medicaid eligibility, claims and encounter data to assess the likely cost of providing additional well-child visits and developmental screening. We reviewed the literature to examine potential effects on health and other outcomes. We elicited advice from clinical experts and reviewed coverage in other state Medicaid programs and private health insurers.
The Center for Evidence-based Policy (CEbP) at the Oregon Health & Sciences University assisted the Institute by searching for studies that examined (a) the effects of additional well-child visits and developmental screening on outcomes for children and (b) the effectiveness of speech and language interventions. Links to the CEbP reports are provided.
Revised on 1/28/2013 to modify the discussion of developmental screens on p. 17.