Transmittal%2014-31-1Lead poisoning frequently goes unrecognized and often occurs with no obvious symptoms.  Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death.  Lead screening rates for Medicaid children nationally have remained low.   In 2011 and 2012, the District of Columbia was performing at a level higher than the national average and even showed a large rise in rates in 2012. However, in 2013, the District saw a 16.4 percentage drop in the rates of those children screened. One of several barriers to blood lead screening is education on the blood lead screening requirements for families and providers serving children. The Department of Health Care Finance is actively working with Lead Safe DC, and District Department of the Environment to increase lead screening rates through multiple tactics.

The attached transmittal to Medicaid providers was sent to increase awareness of the Federal and District requirements and help increase rates above the national average now and in the future. Early screening is the only way to target children with lead exposure in order to begin abatement activities.

Lead Screening Rates FY 2013 FY 2012 FY 2011
National Rates 21.8% 22.1% 23.2%
Washington DC 19.4% 31.0% 26.1%

 

Additional resources can also be found at http://dchealthcheck.net/index.html and http://ddoe.dc.gov/leadsafehealthyhomes