Many Foster Kids in Calif., Other States Miss Health Screenings
Nearly one-third of children in foster care systems across four states -- including California -- who were covered by Medicaid did not receive all of the required health screenings between 2011 and 2012, according to a report by the HHS Office of Inspector General, Kaiser Health News reports.
According to KHN, states set their own standards for screening children in a timely manner (Appleby, Kaiser Health News, 3/2).
For example, children in California's foster care system must receive an initial screening within 24 hours of being placed in care and then receive a certain number of periodic screenings depending on their age (HHS OIG report, March 2015).
Details of Report
For the report, HHS OIG reviewed medical records from between July 2011 and June 2012 for children in foster care in:
- New York; and
Of all children in foster care in the four states:
- 12% did not receive an initial health screening; and
- 17% did not receive at least one of the required follow-up assessments (Kaiser Health News, 3/2).
The report also found that about 27% of children in foster care in the four states received at least one screening late. Specifically:
- 17% received their initial screening late; and
- 10% received at least one follow-up screening late.
The report recommended that the Administration for Children and Families, which is responsible for monitoring states' foster care systems, should:
- Expand the scope of its reviews to examine whether children are receiving screenings in accordance with their state's requirements; and
- Identify and share best practices to ensure all children in foster care systems receive necessary health screenings (HHS OIG report, March 2015).