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MHCP Enrolled Providers
MHCP Provider Update PHY-10-01
Maternal Depression Screening
January 21, 2010
Maternal depression affects up to 18% of mothers during the first year after delivery. Untreated maternal depression can have major, long-term adverse effects for the mother and her child, including placing the child at risk for delays in social emotional development. Early detection, referral and treatment of maternal depression can greatly reduce adverse consequences. A pediatric provider may be the only provider that a mother sees the first year after delivery. As a result, pediatric providers have the opportunity to identify and refer mothers for depression through routine screening at the child’s Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) or other pediatric visit.
Effective January 1, 2010, MHCP covers maternal depression screening as a separate service when performed during a C&TC or other pediatric visit, as a risk assessment for the child. Providers are encouraged to screen mothers who have an MHCP-eligible child under one year of age for maternal depression.
Maternal depression screening is covered as follows:
Providers who meet the instrument-specific criteria for administering the tool, as outlined by the publisher, may perform screenings. Depending on the tool, this may include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, medical assistants or other appropriately trained staff.
For service documentation purposes, record the name of the completed screening tool and that the screening was performed as a “risk assessment” in the child’s medical record. You are not required to include the screening score, results or a copy of the screening tool in the child’s record. You may give the mother a paper copy of the screening tool to bring with her to a referral appointment or destroy it if she does not want it.
When the maternal depression screening occurs during a C&TC or other pediatric visit for an MHCP-eligible child under one year of age, follow these guidelines:
MHCP allows up to three maternal depression screenings for a child under one year of age.
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