States enrolling aged, blind and disabled and/or Supplemental Security Income (ABD/SSI) populations into Medicaid managed care programs are challenged to quickly identify newly enrolled beneficiaries who may have immediate clinical and/or psychosocial needs. Promptly linking new patients with needed care management can help reduce exacerbations of chronic conditions and avoid potential costs related to unnecessary emergency department visits or hospital stays.

Increasingly states are using initial health screens as a tool to promptly identify the immediate care management needs of new beneficiaries. These initial non-clinical assessments can augment comprehensive clinical assessments that are typically conducted during the first visit with a physician or care manager.

With funding from the California HealthCare Foundation, the Center for Health Care Strategies surveyed 13 states that enroll the ABD/SSI population in Medicaid managed care to explore the use of initial health screens. This resulting technical assistance brief addresses key considerations for states in developing an initial health screening process. Sample tools from select states are also available for download below.

Sample State Initial Health Screening Tools