Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program Law and Legal Definition

The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Program (ESPDT) is Medicaid's comprehensive and preventive child health program for individuals under the age of 21. It is the child health component of the Medicaid. This program requires all states to evaluate, treat, and ameliorate any physical or mental conditions found in eligible children under age 21. State programs are required to inform all eligible persons and their families of the benefits available and help them obtain appropriate treatment.

EPSDT was defined by law as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (OBRA '89) legislation and includes periodic screening, vision, dental, and hearing services. Additionally, section 1905(r)(5) of the Social Security Act (the Act) requires that any medically necessary health care service listed at Section 1905(a) of the Act be provided to an EPSDT recipient even if the service is not available under the State's Medicaid plan to the rest of the Medicaid population.

The EPSDT program consists of two components:

(1) Assuring the availability and accessibility of required health care resources.

(2) Helping Medicaid recipients and their parents or guardians effectively use these resources.