MI-AIMH Members – Protect Developmental Screening for Infants and Toddlers!

MI-AIMH members:

We need YOU to make your voice heard on an important issue that could affect the ability of vulnerable infants and toddlers to receive early and ongoing developmental screening.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Final Rule to stop covering services associated with CPT code 96110, which is used to obtain reimbursement for development, behavioral, and psychosocial screening and services. Because Medicaid and private pay systems often depend on Medicare payment rules, CMS’ decision impacts children enrolled in Medicaid and private health insurance plans.

We all know the importance of early and ongoing screening for vulnerable infants and toddlers. If this Rule is enacted, families may lose access to developmental screening services. In the absence of reimbursement, many providers are likely to stop offering these services altogether. This decision would yield few savings in the short term, and in the long term, it will lead to high health care costs and lost human capital. Revoking reimbursement for developmental screening hurts babies and families, and it doesn’t make economic sense.


It is still possible to reverse this Rule, and you can help! The Rule is open to public comment until January 3, 2012. Please submit a comment to CMS to urge the agency to reinstate payment for code 96110. Here’s how:

    * Submit your public comment to the online docket. Either cut and paste your text into the online form or attach a letter.
    * Share with CMS how this Final Rule would impact your work and the families that you serve. To get you started, we have included a sample comment based on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) version below.

As a [insert your professional title or area of expertise], I am writing to express my concern with CMS’ recent decision to change the status of CPT code 96110 and render the code ineligible for reimbursement under Medicare. Because Medicare payment rules often influence Medicaid and private payments, and since more than half of all Medicaid recipients are children, this decision could adversely impact millions of children covered by Medicaid and private insurance.

Developmental, behavioral, and psychosocial screening is critical to early detection of health and developmental issues. Early identification and treatment yields more successful outcomes for children and demonstrated savings in future healthcare costs. Any decision to restrict reimbursement for developmental screening will be costly both to individual children and families and to our society. Please reverse this decision and reinstate coverage of services associated with 96110.

[INSERT YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED MESSAGE: This regulatory action by CMS will directly impact young children in my program and community by…]. Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Remember: The deadline for submitting comments is January 3, 2012.