June 01, 2022

Indiana lead screening guidelines and reporting for children enrolled in Medicaid

Indiana statute requires that all children enrolled in Medicaid are to receive a blood lead level test at 12 and 24 months of age. Additionally, the state requires that any child enrolled in Medicaid between 36 and 72 months with no record of a previous blood lead test must also be tested.

Reducing the impact of lead on children
Lead is particularly dangerous because once in a person’s system, it is distributed throughout the body, causing harm wherever it lands. Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health in several ways, including:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Learning and behavior problems and underperformance in school
  • Lower IQ and decreased ability to pay attention
  • Hearing and speech problems

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that physicians continue to provide anticipatory guidance to parents in an effort to prevent lead exposure. Pediatricians should also increase their efforts to assess children at risk for lead exposure to find those with elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs).

Additional testing should be strongly considered if children:

  • Live in a house built before 1978 or a home that was recently repaired or renovated
  • Are enrolled in Women, Infant and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC) or Head Start
  • Have any of the risk factors in the Verbal Risk Assessment
  • Are adopted outside the United States, in foster care, or are immigrants
  • Have a known history of lead exposure after the age of 2 years old
  • Have a sibling or a playmate with lead toxicity.
  • Have parents who request testing
  • Live near a lead-emitting facility
  • Are exhibiting neurodevelopmental disabilities or conditions such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning delays
  • Have a history of ingested non-food items (e.g., jewelry, batteries, toys, etc.) or exhibit pica behavior

Review the Indiana State Guidelines for more information on testing. For details on the test results reporting process, view Reporting Requirements from the Lead and Healthy Homes Division. For information to specific questions, call contact Provider Services at 877-610-9785.