What's New with HealthCheck
COVID-19 News and Resources
COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available for Children 6 months and Older and Moderna Vaccine Available for Children and Adolescents 6-17 Years Old. DC Health announces that COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months to 4 years old are now available along with the Moderna vaccine for children and adolescents 6-17 years old. For more information, please visit coronavirus.dc.gov.
- Statement from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on COVID-19 Vaccines for 5-11 Year Olds. Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation to make 5-11 year old children eligible for COVID-19 vaccines after the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA)’s authorization, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra issued a statement on the landmark moment to increase children’s protection during this pandemic.
- CDC Recommends Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 Years: Media Statement. CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.
- AAP Statement on Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued recommendations related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine in children and adolescents:
- Vaccination Information: Pediatric Community Facilities and Immunization Policy. See this page for important resources related to vaccines during COVID-19: Pediatric immunization locations, the immunization policy for in-person attendance, and information on how to schedule an appointment at school-based health centers.
Please share with your families: AAP's response to "Is it OK to call my pediatrician during COVID-19?"
- DC Health recommends clinical practices focus on increasing access to care and conducting family engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read their letter on Pediatric Preventive Care and School Health.
- DC's COVID-19 Web Portal. Information to share with patients on how to protect themselves, what to do if they experience symptoms, testing appointments, unemployment benefits, and COVID-19 resources in multiple languages.
- Guidance for MCOs on Outreach Messaging for Well-Child Visits During DC Public Health Emergency. Summary of guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Guidance on Strong Start/Early Intervention Service Delivery Through Telemedicine During DC Public Health Emergency. A series of Q&As developed for OSSE’s Strong Start/Early Intervention Program services.
- Health Center Resource Clearinghouse COVID-19 Portal. Access COVID-19 resources developed for community health centers.
Mental Health News
- Strategies for Working with Underserved Youth and Families in Wards 5, 7 and 8. January 20, 2023 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Target Audience: Pediatric Primary Care Providers This interactive course will focus on engaging parent(s)/caregivers through a culturally humble, culturally competent lens to recognize and overcome barriers that adversely impact health, wellness, and mental health access. The presentation will discuss shared-decision making strategies and their positive impact on families needing mental health services. CME's 1 and educational opportunity for other disciplines.
- Roadmap for Advancing Family-Engaged Developmental Monitoring. This tool is designed to build a foundational understanding of what family-engaged developmental monitoring is, how programs can utilize it, and how it fits into an overall framework of children’s healthy development and family well-being.
- PCP Mental Health Education Resources from the Children’s National Hospital / MedStar Georgetown Mental Health Access Program Collaboration. For CDC and AAPs new developmental milestones (2 months - 5 years), see CDC's Learn the Signs, Act Early Developmental Milestones.
- DC-Approved Child Mental Health Screening Tools. This document explains the background and methodology for choosing screening tools as conducted by the DC Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care. It includes detailed information about administration, scoring, psychometric properties, and ordering information. Also see the Domain-Specific Screening Tools crosswalk.
- School Mental Health In Washington, DC. This landing page provides videos and resources on DC's behavioral health services for children and youth in public and public charter schools, DC's current Comprehensive Expansion in School Behavioral Health, and the role of the DC School Behavioral Health Community of Practice to support the Expansion in schools across the city.
- Improving Adolescent and Young Adult Health: Challenges and Opportunities Emerging from the Covid-19 Pandemic. This two-page brief offers strategies for advancing health care for AYAs during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. It includes a focus on preventive services and mental and behavioral health care, in the context of the pandemic.
- Child & Adolescent Mental Health Resource Guide for use by pediatric primary care providers in the Washington, DC area. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive listing of community behavioral health resources for children and adolescents in the District of Columbia. This latest version includes information about the operating status of agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic along with updated information related to the DC Medicaid managed care organizations, including searchable filters for CareFirst Community Health Plan DC and Medstar Family Choice MCOs.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders Toolkit for Pediatric Primary Care Providers in the District of Columbia. This toolkit focuses specifically on supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families, by providing primary care providers with the tools to help families navigate the developmental disabilities landscape in Washington, DC.
- The DC Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care has developed Resources for Cross-Sector Collaborative Care (July 2019). These include:
- Read the new Department of Health Care Finance transmittal – Pediatric Mental Health and Maternal Depression Screening Coverage and Tools (appoved 05/13/19). This transmittal discusses behavioral health in primary care as well as referral and provider resources.
- Updated Perinatal Mental Health Resources
- CDC's Autism Case Training: a free introductory course designed to help primary health care providers gain knowledge and skills to improve early identification of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and ensure timely and appropriate care.
- DC MAP (Mental health Access in Pediatrics) is a program aimed at improving mental health integration within pediatric primary care. The website offers links to consultation, training, referrals, education, and medication reviews.
Oral Health News
- The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign wants to remind families that with Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, children and teens up to age 19 can receive the necessary dental care, including regular check-ups, x-rays, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and fillings, to keep them healthy and smiling. The Campaign offers a variety of resources:
Twitter and Facebook graphics are available in English and Spanish to share on social media.
Tip sheet with advice on sharing dental health education materials.
Find a Dentist tool to locate a dentist in their area that accepts Medicaid and CHIP.
- Materials specifically for expectant mothers, toddlers, and children with special needs on their Oral Health Initiative page.
- Note on Billing for Fluoride Varnish. DC Medicaid primary care providers who have completed fluoride varnish training can bill the Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicaid program and the Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) for fluoride varnish application on a child under 3 (three) years of age. Currently, DC Medicaid primary care providers who are enrolled and trained by DC HealthCheck can bill FFS and the MCOs for the application of fluoride varnish using CDT code D1206 or CPT code 99188. When this policy was implemented in 2014, CDT code D1206 was the only procedure code for fluoride varnish application and since then CPT 99188 code was added to the fee schedule.
Effective March 1, 2018, DC Medicaid (FFS and the MCOs) will no longer reimburse primary care providers for fluoride varnish claims submitted using the CDT code D1206. Only fluoride varnish claims submitted by primary care providers using the CPT code 99188 will be processed and paid.
2. All fluoride varnish claims received by primary care providers for visits that occurred before March 1, 2018 will be processed. However, any varnish claims received by primary care providers for a date service after March 1, 2018, will only be paid if the claim for fluoride varnish application is coded using the CPT code 99188.
- ADA State Fact Sheets on Geographic Access to Dental Care. The American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute published one-page infographic for each state, including the District of Columbia, highlighting access to dental care for Medicaid beneficiaries. The District’s fact sheet highlights that 100% of publicly insured children live in areas where there is at least one Medicaid dentist per 2,000 publicly insured children within a 15-minute travel time. Click here to learn more.