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Universal Lead Screening Requirement: A California Case Study

  • Author(s): McMenamin, SB
  • Hiller, SP
  • Shigekawa, E
  • Melander, T
  • Shimkhada, R
  • et al.
Abstract

To estimate potential impacts of California Assembly Bill (AB) 1316: a requirement for universal screening and insurance coverage for child blood lead testing.In April 2017 the California Health Benefits Review Program (Oakland, CA) analyzed AB 1316 for the California legislature, including a systematic review of lead screening effectiveness, commercial insurer surveys regarding screening coverage, and actuarial utilization and cost implication assessments.Universal screening requirements would increase child lead testing by 273%, raise affected populations' premiums by 0.0043%, and detect an additional 4777 exposed children 1 year after implementation.The evidence for a net societal benefit of universal screening approach is limited and is not supported by prominent medical professional groups. Public Health Implications. California expanded targeted screening to identify additional children at higher risk for lead poisoning on the basis of California-specific risk factors, while mitigating the potential harms of universal screening such as an increase in false positive tests and health care costs.

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