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Maximizing the Use of EPSDT to Improve the Health and Development of Young Children

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by HM2VikingRN HM2VikingRN, RN (Member)

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what research says about medicaid, epsdt, and young children

  • an estimated 35-40 percent of births are financed by medicaid, with coverage continuing throughout the first year of life for infants. in some states, approximately half of all births are covered. virtually all of the infants whose births were financed by medicaid will have automatic and continuous coverage until age 1 year.
  • approximately one-third of children ages 1 to 5 years are covered by medicaid. this means that many early childhood health and developmental services in each state will be financed by medicaid.
  • with medicaid, poor children's access to health care is similar to that of nonpoor, privately insured children. moreover, child medicaid beneficiaries use care in approximately the same pattern as their privately insured counterparts.
  • children are half of all medicaid enrollees, but represent less than 20 percent of the total spending--primarily because they use less expensive primary and preventive services.

emphasis added.


the first weeks, months, and years of every child's life lay the foundation for success in school. factors such as poverty, poor nutrition, lack of preventive health care, substance abuse, maternal depression, and family violence put young children at risk. children who experience several of these risk factors are often far behind their more advantaged peers from the start.


low-income children are disproportionately at risk for risk factors that threaten healthy development. it is in the public interest to promote policies, services, and supports that can help change a negative development course to a positive one.

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