Texas Health Steps providers should not use Magellan Diagnostics’ LeadCare analyzers for venous blood lead tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Advisory warning that the analyzers may underestimate blood lead levels and provide falsely low test results. The FDA recommends against using LeadCare analyzers for venous blood samples.

The 2016-17 Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) season will end April 14 for all Texas counties. No extensions were granted this season based on recommendations from the Texas Pediatric RSV Task Force.

Coverage of Synagis (palivizumab) will end April 14 for people enrolled in Medicaid (both traditional and managed care) and the Children with Special Health Care Needs services program. Pharmacy claims and prior authorization requests will not be accepted or reviewed after that date.

Improving transition from pediatric to adult health care is a national priority, medical home standard, and meaningful use requirement for electronic health records. A new tip sheet from Got Transition and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports delivery of recommended health-care transition services in pediatric and adult primary and specialty care settings.

The Texas Department of State Health Services Office of Title V Maternal and Child Health is soliciting feedback from primary care and specialty care physicians about their experiences with transition and medical home services. Information gathered will be used to improve support services for providers who care for children and youth with special health-care needs and their families.

The survey is brief, and responses are anonymous. You can access the survey here. Your participation is appreciated.

Effective February 1, 2017, the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) may be used for adolescent mental health screening conducted during a Texas Health Steps checkup.

Screening for behavioral, social, and emotional development is required at each THSteps checkup. An additional mental health screen is required once for patients between the ages of 12 and 18. The approved screening tools are listed below:

Under a new collaboration between Texas Health and Human Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), children and adolescents should receive a Texas Health Steps medical checkup within 30 days of entering DFPS conservatorship.

Procedure code 99420, which is used during a THSteps checkup to administer and interpret a mental health screening tool in adolescents, is being discontinued by the 2017 HCPCS code updates.  Effective January 1, 2017, THSteps providers should use procedure code 96160 or 96161 for mental health screenings in adolescents 12 through 18 years of age.

The Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) has updated a variety of provider enrollment applications and forms. The revised forms are available on the TMHP Forms for Medicaid Providers web page.

Effective January 1, 2017, previous versions of the forms are no longer accepted. To learn more about TMHP forms, call 1-800-302-6688.

Children and adults age 20 and younger who have disabilities and are covered by Texas Medicaid now receive services through STAR Kids.

STAR Kids provides benefits such as primary and specialty care, preventive care, hospital care, prescription drugs, personal care, and durable medical equipment and supplies. A key feature of the plan is care coordination provided through the patient’s health plan.

Texas Health Steps providers can be reimbursed for using Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) during Texas Health Steps checkups for patients 10 through 20 years of age. SBIRT is an evidenced-based three-part strategy to reduce adolescent substance use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and U.S Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommend universal screening for substance use as part of routine adolescent care.

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