Enacted in 1967, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) is the child health component of Medicaid. EPSDT added to Medicaid a deliberate focus on prevention and early intervention to reduce health problems among low-income children and offer them equal opportunity to succeed in life. However, in its early years, EPSDT was poorly enforced and many children did not receive the care to which they were entitled. Beginning in 1976, the National Health Law Program began to direct more energy into guaranteeing that low-income children had access to EPSDT.
Since then, we have continued to develop and use our significant expertise in EPSDT to ensure that children get the health care they need in states across the country.