January 4, 2018
The Honorable Jim Wood
Assembly Health Committee, Chair
State Capitol, Room 6005
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Support- AB 11 (McCarty): Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program: screening services, As Proposed To Be Amended
Dear Assemblymember Wood:
On behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), I am writing in support of AB 11 (McCarty), as proposed to be amended. Timely developmental screening is critically important for all young children, including those in the Medi-Cal program. Pediatricians are committed to working with the sponsors and author of AB 11 regarding implementation of developmental screening requirements, including data collection, evaluation and other elements to ensure access and accountability relative to the screens.
The Bright Futures Preventive Health Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that all infants and toddlers under the age of three should receive routine developmental screenings as part of a well-child visit
(https://brightfutures.aap.org/Pages/default.aspx). Early identification of developmental delays through screening is the first step to connecting children with the supports they need for healthy development. When children with (or at risk of) developmental or other delays are not identified early, they may not receive the timely care and intervention services they need to address developmental delays or concerns. Unidentified delays during the child’s first years of life can significantly impact a child’s school readiness and have long-term effects on their overall well-being.
AB 11 is a reasonable and essential measure to address current shortfalls in California’s developmental screening of young children. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, fewer than one in three California children receive timely developmental screenings, delaying any referrals to needed early intervention services. California ranks 43rd in the nation in the percentage of young children who receive timely screenings.
The AAP-CA supports AB 11, to address deficits in timely developmental screenings that currently occur in the Medi-Cal program. We respectfully urge the Assembly Health Committee to pass the bill out so that we may actively work with other stakeholders to make higher developmental screening rates a reality in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Members and Staff of the Assembly Health Committee
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty