North Carolina's ABCD Program: Using Community Care Networks to Improve the Delivery of Childhood Developmental Screening and Referral to Early Intervention Services

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Between 2004 and 2008, North Carolina’s Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) program quintupled the number of screening tests administered during Medicaid well-child visits to identify young children at risk for developmental disabilities and delays. Referrals to Early Intervention programs quadrupled, helping to increase the percentage of infants and toddlers receiving Early Intervention services statewide—from an estimated 3.0 percent in 2003 to 4.3 percent in 2008. As a result, fewer North Carolina children are entering school with unrecognized or untreated developmental problems. Key elements of the ABCD program include identifying standardized screening tools and training physicians on how to implement them without disrupting the workflow of their practices; building providers’ knowledge of referral agencies; helping their practices develop processes for tracking cases; and establishing working relationships with community agencies to enhance communication and bridge gaps in understanding.

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Publication Details

Publication Date: August 20, 2009
Authors: Sarah Klein, Douglas McCarthy
Citation:

S. Klein and D. McCarthy, North Carolina’s ABCD Program: Using Community Care Networks to Improve the Delivery of Childhood Developmental Screening and Referral to Early Intervention Services, The Commonwealth Fund, August 2009.

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