The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that healthcare providers do the following:
- Monitor the child’s development during regular well-child visits.
- Periodically screen children with validated tools at recommended ages to identify any areas of concern that may require a further examination or evaluation.
- Ensure that more comprehensive developmental evaluations are completed if risks are identified.
Pediatric primary care providers are in a unique position to promote Developmental Screenings because they have regular contact with children before they reach school age. However, monitoring and screening can be done by other professionals is healthcare, community, and school settings in collaboration with parents and caregivers.
Developmental screening can identify children with a developmental risk that was not previously identified. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental and behavioral screening for all children during regular well-child visits at these ages:
- 9 months
- 18 months
- 30 months
In addition, AAP recommends that all children be screened specifically for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during regular well-child visits at:
Developmental screening with a validated test is recommended for all children at these ages even if there are no concerns. Healthcare providers may screen a child more frequently if there are additional risk factors, such as preterm birth, low birthweight, and lead exposure, among others.
Billing for Developmental Screening Related Services
Providers can bill CenCal Health Developmental Screening services using the following CPT codes:
- Z13.42 “Encounter for screening for global developmental delays"
Integrating Developmental Screening into Pediatric Primary Care
The following are resources to integrate screening services into primary care efficiently and at low cost, while ensuring thorough coordination of care:
- Lipkin PH, Macias MM, Council on Children with Disabilities, Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2020). Promoting optimal development: Identifying infants and young children with developmental disorders through developmental surveillance and screening. Pediatrics, 145(1), e20193449.