Maternal Depression Screening

Maternal or caregiver health can affect young children’s development. Children with depressed mothers have increased risk of developmental concerns or delays such as behavior problems and poor cognitive outcomes. Despite evidence that maternal depression is common and can negatively affect the development of young children, it is often undiagnosed and untreated. Since the rate of depression is disproportionately higher among low-income women, Medicaid can play a leading role in identifying at-risk mothers and connecting them to treatment. In 2016, CMS issued a bulletin clarifying that state Medicaid agencies may allow maternal depression screenings to be claimed as a service for the child as part of the EPSDT benefit. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ 4th edition of Bright Futures recommends maternal depression screening during the 1, 2, 4, and 6 month well-child visits. Below there is a map that highlights state Medicaid policies around maternal depression screening during well-child visits, including reimbursement.  A second map highlights recommended or required screening tools. A detailed chart of maternal depression screening policy information by state is here.

Medicaid Fee for Service Policies for Maternal Depression Screening in a Well-Child Visit


Medicaid Fee for Service Policies for Maternal Depression Screening in a Well-Child Visit
Legend:
Require (6 states) - Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington
Recommend (23 states) - California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
Allow (7 states) - Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Wisconsin

Sources: State Medicaid websites and direct communication with state Medicaid officials

36 states have a policy to allow, recommend, or require maternal depression screening as part of a well-child visit

Accurate as of March 2018

State Medicaid Recommendations and Requirements for Maternal Depression Screening Tools


State Medicaid Recommendations and Requirements for Maternal Depression Screening Tools
Legend:
Requires specific tools (18 states) - Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont
Recommends specific tools (15 states) - Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia
Does not require or recommend specific tools (3 states) - Kentucky, Tennessee, and Wisconsin Sources: State Medicaid websites and direct communication with state Medicaid officials

33 states have a policy to require or recommend specific screening tools for maternal depression screening as part of a well-child visit

Accurate as of March 2018

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