Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) reported a decrease in lead screenings by as much as 65% in March and April 2020 when compared to 2019 data for the same timeframe. The long-lasting national emergency has delayed lead removal efforts and disrupted routine childhood screenings, well visits and immunizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no safe level of exposure to lead, which can disrupt neurological and cognitive development, causing learning disabilities, behavioral problems and developmental delays.
Lead Screening among Children is a Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measure defined as, “the percentage of children two years of age who had at least one capillary or venous blood test for lead poisoning on or before their second birthday.”* Data for Lead Screening is obtained from Neighborhood’s claims database, the RIDOH’s KIDSNET database, and medical record review. Neighborhood’s Lead Screening rate declined in Measurement Year 2020 and stood at 77.16 % compared to the Measurement Year 2019 rate of 79.35 %. Although modest in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this decline presents an opportunity for improvement with which you can help.
You can help!
- Take advantage of every office visit (e.g., sick visits) to provide well care components when applicable.
- Use Gap in Care Reports provided by Neighborhood to help identify children who have not had a well visit and children approaching their second birthday who have not had a blood test for lead poisoning.
- Provide in-office capillary or venous testing at least once by the patient’s second birthday.
- Re-screen patients with blood lead levels greater than or equal to 5 mcg/dL. within 90 days of an elevated blood lead level result.
- Inform members of Neighborhood’s Member Rewards (i.e.; $25 gift card) for completing lead screening by their second birthday. Members are also eligible to receive additional rewards for well visits and immunizations. Please view the link below for more information and a copy of the Member Rewards Form https://www.nhpri.org/your-health/resources/rewards/.
- Address COVID-related fears by informing families about precautions and practices put in place to keep them safe.
- Document in the patient’s medical record the date the test was performed and the result/finding.
- Code appropriately and timely on submitted claims using one of the following:
CPT Code: 83655
SNOMED: 8655006, 35833009
LOINC: 10368-9, 10912-4, 14807-2, 17052-2, 25459-9, 27129-6, 32325-3, 5671-3, 5674-7, 77307-7
Thank you for working to achieve the highest level of care possible for your patients.
*Please note that Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has more stringent lead screening guidelines required by law. If a child is compliant with RIDOH screening guidelines, the HEDIS measure will also be met. For additional information regarding lead screening requirements, please visit: http://www.health.ri.gov/healthrisks/poisoning/lead/for/providers/
HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).