2023 IHA Changes: What You Need to Know

This year, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) changed the name of the IHA from Initial Health Assessment to Initial Health Appointment. They also updated the following completion requirements:

  1. The IHA must be completed within 90 days of the patient’s assignment to their primary care provider (PCP). 
  2. DHCS has clarified changes to the Health Information Form / Member Evaluation Tool (HIF/MET). Federal regulations require PCPs to report positive screening results to HPSM using the HIF/MET within 90 days of a member being assigned to them.  
  3. The Individual Health Education Behavior Assessment (IHEBA) and Staying Healthy Assessment (SHA) were retired on January 1, 2023. The SHA was used as a standardized form to streamline the IHEBA used by all managed care plans. However, the following DHCS requirements remain in effect: 
    • Providers must administer all preventive screenings for adults and children that are recommended by the United States Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF). However, you are no longer required to complete all screenings during the initial appointment.
    • DHCS will measure primary care visits as a proxy for the IHA, leveraging Managed Care Accountability Sets (MCAS) measures specific to infant and child/adolescent well-child visits and adult preventive visits. For children, DHCS will measure both primary care visits and childhood screenings, including but not limited to screenings for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), developmental disorders, depression, autism, vision problems, hearing issues, blood lead levels and substance use disorders (SUDs).
    • Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) screenings will continue to be covered for individuals under 21 years of age.

Learn more about the recent IHA changes by reading DHCS’s all-plan letter. If you have questions after reading that, email Provider Services at psinquiries@hpsm.org.