Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Latrita McFadden noticed from the beginning that her son, Anthony Burke, always walked on his tiptoes. He began to complain that his knees hurt, but doctor after doctor said he would grow out of it. Anthony fared well enough until he started school, where he was taunted about his walk as well as a speech impairment. He became withdrawn in class and his first-grade teacher held him back. Things changed dramatically when Anthony enrolled in SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program. He received much-needed care, including a referral to an orthopedist who diagnosed his shorter-than-normal Achilles’ tendons and operated to correct the problem. He also received speech therapy and counseling.
Anthony was helped by Medicaidâ??s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) services. EPSDT, the Medicaid benefit package for children up to age 21, covers comprehensive health care, including screening, developmental assessments, vision, dental, and hearing services, as well as all medically necessary diagnostic services and treatment. Durable medical equipment and assistive devices, and services such as physical and occupational therapy that help maximize childrenâ??s function, are also covered. The goals of EPSDTâ??s prevention-oriented services are early identification of conditions that can impede childrenâ??s growth and development, and early intervention and care to ensure them a healthy start and avoid the health and financial costs of long-term illness and disability.
"I'm just really grateful. The Medicaid SoonerCare program has had a profound effect on my family." – Anthony's mother, Latrita