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Magellan Biosciences to Present at Medicaid Health Plans of America Center for Best Practices First Annual Awards Forum
Date:5/17/2011

ed care organizations (MCOs) teamed up with state and local WIC agencies and BadgerCare+ (Wisconsin's Medicaid program) to provide three-minute LeadCare II testing in WIC clinics, as recommended by the CDC, along with important health education information for parents. The program launched in 2010 with the donation of 10 LeadCare II analyzers and 20 test kits (supplies to test 960 children) by three of the Medicaid MCOs. In just 10 months of 2010, the program identified 139 children in the Milwaukee region with elevated blood-lead results -- nearly 300% more children than it did in each of the previous two years. Integrating three-minute LeadCare II testing into WIC services meant that at-risk children actually received mandated tests for the first time.

Joel De Jesus further explains the WIC testing program's benefits: "Removing the source of exposure and early intervention can help mitigate future effects of lead. If Wisconsin continued to rely on traditional prescription and send-out tests, it is more-than-likely that these children would never have been identified. Since damage is cumulative, consequences of continued lead exposure would be devastating for the child and family. And they extend further. The lead poisoned child is our 'canary in the coal mine' for identifying and cleaning up sources of lead contamination. When lead poisoning goes undetected, the problem perpetuates itself into the future, with many more children likely poisoned at the same address."

Mr. De Jesus continues, "Everyone wins in this innovative program -- the 139 lead-poisoned children who are now receiving appropriate follow-up from a healthcare provider; their parents, empowered to protect them from lead poisoning now and in the future; and the Medicaid MCOs, who are serving their members better and reaping the rewards. This program shows lead testing is an ideal fit to further WIC's core services and nutrition mission. It dramatically improves screening rates
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