Effective for dates of service on or after January 1, 2020, screening for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a Medi-Cal covered benefit.28 DHCS will pay Medi-Cal providers $29 per trauma screening for children, and children may be screened as determined appropriate and medically necessary, but screenings will not be paid more than once per year, per provider.28
By July 2020, providers must self-attest that the training has been completed to be eligible to continue receiving Medi-Cal payment for conducting ACEs screenings. The online provider training is accessible through the ACEs Aware website.29 The required screening tool for use by providers is the top portion of the Pediatric ACEs and Related Life-events Screener (PEARLS) for individuals under 18 years of age. The PEARLs tool is available as a caregiver-report questionnaire for ages 0-11 and as both a caregiver and a self-report tool for ages 12-19.28 Research has shown parents to be reliable reporters of their child’s development.
For information about the new Trauma Screening mandate, visit the DHCS website.
For more information on the use of the PEARLs tool, see the ACEs Aware website.