Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT), a large-scale operational screening program which has generated
a tremendous volume of data on the sociodemographic characteristics and health status of Medicaid-eligible children, seems
to provide an ideal context within which to evaluate the effectiveness of preventive child health care. Concerns about health
care expenditures generally, and the effectiveness of preventive child health services specifically, lead to the question
of whether the impact on the health status of the children served can be measured without significantly adding to the cost
of these services with primary data collection. We employed a quasi-experimental research design using administratively-generated
data from an operational EPSDT program to estimate program impact on the prevalence of serious abnormalities among the children
served. We found that, compared either to themselves across time or to a control group, a representative sample of 1831 children
had almost 30 percent fewer abnormalities requiring care on rescreening. The ability to demonstrate the impact of EPSDT using
these data suggests, among other things relevant to policy, that a national EPSDT monitoring system could be developed that
would be cost-effective and could lead to program improvement.
Health : Health Status : Child : Child Health Services/utilization : Evaluation Studies : Human : Multiphasic Screening/utilization
: Pennsylvania : Statistics : Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.