EPSDT Overview

Program Introduction

Iowa's federally mandated Medicaid program for kids.

EPSDT Care for Kids is Iowa's federally mandated Medicaid program for children. The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program was first created by Congress in 1967. It remains today as the only health care program ever designed specifically for children.

The role of EPSDT is to promote the physical, mental, social, emotional and behavioral health of children from birth to age 21. The EPSDT program emphasizes the use of a regular schedule of recommended well-child health visits, called screenings, to provide preventative health care and identify medical, developmental and social-emotional concerns. The EPSDT program requires that Medicaid pay for any medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services for problems detected as part of a well-child screening exam.

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EPSDT - The Acronym



Children should receive quality health care beginning at birth and continuing throughout childhood and adolescence including the identification, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions as early as possible.



Children should receive well child visits at regular intervals throughout childhood and adolescence according to the Iowa EPDST Care for Kids Health Maintenance Recommendations. Health care may be provided between regularly scheduled visits.



Children should be screened for health as well as developmental and behavioral concerns. Services should include health history, developmental and behavioral assessment, physical exam, immunizations, lab tests, nutrition/obesity prevention, oral health exam, health education (anticipatory guidance) and vision and hearing screenings.



Children should receive further evaluation of health, developmental or social-emotional problems identified during well-child visits that may require treatment.



Children should receive treatment for health, developmental or social-emotional problems identified during well-child visits.

Program Goal

As a result of participating in EPSDT, each child should have an integrated plan of care based on the outcome of all recommended screenings. Each plan of care should consider the child within the context of the family, and the family within the context of the community.

Eligibility and Cost

All Iowa children who are enrolled in Medicaid are automatically enrolled in EPSDT Care for Kids. All EPSDT services are free to children enrolled in Medicaid.

More information about this federal Medicaid program is available at Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment on the Medicaid.gov website.

Website Accessibility

EPSDT is committed to making all information and materials accessible to everyone.

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