Blood lead level testing should be completed on children (finger stick or venous blood draw) at ages 12 months and 24 months of age, or if the child has not been tested before age 6.
Protocols for lead testing
- The state Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) considers patients on any government assistance program (including those with GCHP eligibility) at-risk for lead exposure and requires that they be tested according to clinical guidelines.
- GCHP’s clinical practice guidelines can be found here under "Guidelines."
- Provide anticipatory guidance to all patients due for lead testing.
- For health education materials, visit GCHP’s Health Education webpage.
- Document a parental refusal in the medical record including the signed refusal form.
- You can download GCHP’s refusal form here.
- Use the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines for interpreting blood lead levels.
- Report any abnormal test results to the Ventura County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
- Bill GCHP using CPT code 83655.
Best practices to promote lead screening
- Use GCHP’s Gap Reports identifying children who need testing.
- If you are not receiving Gap Reports and would like to receive them, please contact QualityImprovement@goldchp.org.
- Perform point-of-care lead testing during well-child visits.
- Create alerts in your Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system to notify you when lead testing is due.
- Keep a chart alert for all patients under the age of 6 who have never been screened for lead exposure.
- Discuss the importance of lead exposure screening with parents at each well child visit before 3 years of age.
- Place GCHP’s Childhood Blood Lead Level Screenings Tip Sheet near your workstation.
- Refer to GCHP’s Managed Care Accountability Set Tip Sheets to ensure accurate quality of care reporting.
For more information about pediatric lead exposure screening, visit:
- Ventura County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP)
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Detection of Lead Poisoning
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Recommended Actions Based on Blood Lead Level
If you have any questions about recommended lead exposure screening, please email QualityImprovement@goldchp.org.