EPSDT as a Pathway Toward Trauma-Informed Care for Children with Medicaid Coverage

Idzikowski S, Zachary C
Source: N C Med J
Publication Year: 2018
Patient Need Addressed: Behavioral health, Trauma
Population Focus: Medicaid beneficiaries
Demographic Group: Child
Type of Literature: White


Insights Results

Overview of article

  • This article describes how Early and Period Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) can be a pathway to prevent, monitor, assess and treat adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and other complex traumas

Key takeaways/implications

  • EPSDT allows for clinical and social service providers to monitor child overall health and development, and it can help providers identify, monitor, and address more complex health concerns
  • The article suggests that mobile crisis units are viable way to address ACEs in children on Medicaid through EPSDT. In a policy guidance letter to states, CMS noted that mobile crisis response teams are a part of a “wraparound” approach to care
  • In practice, mobile crisis response teams serve as a protective factor against future crises. Mobile crisis teams work with the child or adolescent to de-escalate the situation in an effort to regain emotional stability. Then, the team creates a crisis plan involving the client and the client’s support system: family members, teachers, school counselors, and other treatment providers. The plans help families identify triggers for future crises. Afterward, the mobile crisis team follows up with the child and support system to evaluate the crisis plan, conduct psychosocial education, and enhance coping skills
  • Another strength of mobile crisis units is that the mobile crisis support team helps families build capacity by working with the child and support system to develop coping strategies that can be used to prevent a crisis in the future
  • Integrated Family Services, in Edgecombe County, North Carolina, provides mobile crisis response teams, outpatient therapy and services related to foster care. This organization has found EPSDT beneficial in securing mental healthcare and trauma-informed services for children and adolescents. Because of EPSDT as a benefit, Medicaid beneficiaries under age 21 have access to services that address trauma