Health Screening Programs that utilize one or a combination of diagnostic tools to test large groups of people who are assumed to be well for the presence of a particular disease or condition or for certain risk factors that are known to be associated with that disease or condition; or which conduct in-depth tests to establish the cause and nature of an individual's presenting illness. The purpose of screening is to identify people who have a potential problem and refer them for early diagnosis and treatment and, where possible, to provide preventive measures. Early identification is particularly important when dealing with conditions that are more difficult to treat when fully developed. The purpose of more in-depth diagnostic work is to establish a logical basis for ongoing treatment.

 

 

Programs that measure the pressure existing in the large arteries at the height of a pulse wave and identify individuals whose blood pressure is higher than normal, and who are thereby susceptible to strokes and other conditions that are related to hypertension.

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Programs that conduct medical tests to determine the extent of brain injuries and the type of treatment and rehabilitation that are needed. Brain injuries may be hereditary, congenital, degenerative or acquired. Acquired brain injuries include central nervous system injury from physical trauma, anoxia or hypoxic episodes and allergic conditions, toxic substances, and other acute medical/clinical incidents.

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Programs that offer the screening procedure for the early detection of breast cancer which involves a manual examination of the breasts for lumps, thickening or other abnormalities.

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Health care providers that offer the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program, a health assessment and treatment program for low-income children and youth through age 21 that is designed to assure early detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases or impairments which might adversely affect the individual's growth and development. CHDP exams generally include a complete physical examination; a dental assessment; a nutritional assessment; vision and hearing screening; immunizations; urine, blood and tuberculosis screening tests; specialized laboratory tests, as needed; and health education on topics such as tobacco use prevention, lead poisoning prevention and other issues pertaining to child health.

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Programs that provide dental examinations to detect tooth decay and periodontal problems, and oral hygiene information; but which refer out for cleaning, fillings, extractions and other necessary dental care.

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Programs that provide a comprehensive, structured evaluation of a child’s cognitive/intellectual functioning, language and communication skills, independent living skills, social and emotional development and perceptual/motor functioning in order to identify individuals who show developmental delays, determine the nature and extent of the problem and recommend a course of treatment and care. Developmental assessments are generally offered by a developmental assessment specialist, or a team of professionals that can include a pediatrician, language specialist, audiologist, occupational therapist, child psychologist and child psychiatrist, among others. They involve age-adjusted questions regarding a child's growth, physical movements, behavior, play, and interactions with family members and the rest of the world as well as a series of tests that may include a physical exam, hearing and eye screenings, play observation, and standardized tests that present the child with specific tasks to determine areas of strength and weakness. Developmental assessments are occasionally done for adults. They can also be used to identify individuals who have developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism and neurological impairments, in order to establish eligibility for state and federally funded programs.

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Programs that administer tests which determine whether an individual has diabetes, a disorder in which the pancreas produces too little insulin with the result that the body in unable to adequately metabolize sugar.

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Programs that conduct a series of tests which measure an individual's visual acuity, identify refractive errors that cause poor vision and check for eye diseases such as glaucoma; and prescribe corrective lenses in situations where there are vision problems. Eye examinations are offered by optometrists and ophthalmologists and are usually available through mobile eye clinics.

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Programs that offer screening procedures that identify people who have targeted eye diseases or vision deficiencies that may require further examination.

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Routine examinations conducted on an annual basis to assess the general physical condition of an individual and detect abnormalities. General physicals vary, but most involve a discussion of any concerns the patient may be having; checking vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rate), weight and general appearance; heart and lung exams using a stethoscope; a head and neck exam that looks at the throat, teeth and gums, ears, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid and carotid arteries; an abdominal exam that uses palpation to detect liver size, the presence of abdominal fluid or tenderness; a visual examination of the extremities; and breast and pelvic exams for women, testicular and prostate exams for men. The annual physical exam also provides an opportunity to refocus attention on prevention and screening and routine laboratory tests may be suggested.

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Programs that offer the screening procedure for the early detection of breast cancer which involves an X-ray picture of the breast area which can be studied for abnormalities.

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Programs that evaluate an individual's nutritional history and dietary intake and develop a plan which ensures that the person's nutritional needs are met. The evaluation includes a review of the individual's food habits and preferences, an assessment of his or her feeding skills and eating problems and an analysis of biochemical and anthropometric variables including the person's height and weight and the fat content of his or her body.

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Programs that provide health screening and immunization services for infants and toddlers to ensure their physical well-being and healthy development. Preschool aged children are also eligible in some areas.

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