Behavioral Health Screening among Massachusetts Children Receiving Medicaid

Thursday, August 18, 2016
Cover of Behavioral Health Screening among Massachusetts Children Receiving Medicaid
David Keller, MD
University of Colorado
Georgianna Willis, PhD
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Kathy Muhr, M.ED
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Gideon Aweh, MS
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Jack Simons, PhD
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Emily Sherwood, MPA
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services

An assessesment of the impact of the MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program, Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) implemented in 2007. The initiative requires and reimburses behavioral health screening with standardized tools at well-child visits. A study of 2010 and 2012 Medicaid members under the age of 21 years revealed CBHI substantially increased screening from 4 percent in 2007 to 74 percent in 2012. Behavioral health utilization increased among those formally screened but decreased among those with informal assessments. CBHI implementation transformed the relationship between primary care and BH services.