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Effective July 1, physicians must complete training to continue being reimbursed for ACEs screenings

June 30, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health 


Recognizing that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have a strong and life-long correlation to numerous health, social and behavioral problems, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in partnership with the California Office of the Surgeon General, in January launched a first-in-the-nation statewide effort to screen patients for trauma and the increased likelihood of ACEs-associated health conditions due to toxic stress. The goal of this initiative is to reduce ACEs and toxic stress by half in one generation.

On January 1, 2020, DHCS began paying Medi-Cal providers to perform trauma screenings for children and adults with Medi-Cal coverage. Starting July 1, 2020, Medi-Cal providers must take a certified training and self-attest to having completed the training in order to continue to be reimbursed for ACEs screenings.

DHCS’s ACEs Aware initiative offers provider training and clinical protocols for screening children and adults for ACEs. The free, two-hour online curriculum will provide continuing medical education and maintenance of certification credits.

The California Medical Association (CMA) is a proud partner of the ACEs Aware initiative. All physicians are encouraged to complete the training to screen patients for ACEs. By screening for ACEs, providers can better determine whether a patient is at increased health risk due to a toxic stress response, which can inform patient treatment and through the use of trauma-informed care. Detecting ACEs early and connecting patients to interventions, resources and other supports can improve the health and well-being of individuals and families.

ACEs Webinars

ACEs Aware is also hosting a series of free webinars for interested parties. The next webinar is scheduled for July 29, 2020, and will focus on ACEs screening and response in adult medicine. Learn more and register for this webinar at acesaware.org.

If you are unable to attend the live event, the webinars are posted for on-demand viewing. Recent webinars currently available to playback include:

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