Documentation of Postpartum Depression (PPD) screening

To:          Early Intervention Programs

From: Patti Fougere, Early Intervention Assistant Director

Mary Dennehy-Colorusso, Early Intervention Due Process & Family Rights Coordinator

Jean Shimer, Early Intervention Data Manager

Date:      August 1, 2015

Re: Documentation of Postpartum Depression (PPD) screening

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance regarding documentation of a Postpartum Depression (PPD) screen on a mother whose child is receiving Early Intervention (EI) services. This guidance is intended to support each Early Intervention Program (EIP) in having the necessary systems in place to ensure appropriate documentation and confidentiality of a child’s EI record. It also serves as a reminder that access to and the contents of a child’s EI record may be granted to any person meeting the definition of “parent” according to Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The documentation guidance is as follows:

  • The EIP are responsible for adhering to both the confidentiality and access requirements of Part C of the IDEA and the Early Intervention Operational Standards.
  • The Department of Public Health (DPH) is recommending that the hard copy of the completed PPD screening tool is provided to the mother directly so she may share it with her health care provider.
  • Also, if the mother desires, the PPD screening tool may be shredded or destroyed by the EIP in a manner that would maintain the confidentiality of the mother.
  • If the mother declines to accept or destroy the completed PPD screening tool as listed above, the EIP should establish a record for the mother that can contain this information. The completed PPD screen should not be included in the child’s record.
  • EI providers should document “child/family assessment” in the progress note typically completed to substantiate the activity billed. In addition, EI providers should document referrals for follow up as “anticipatory guidance, referral, and community resources were provided” as necessary.
  • The EI provider should consult with DPH on record-keeping procedures as necessary.

If you have any questions or inquiries, please feel free to contact Patti Fougere by email at patti.fougere@state.ma.us or by phone at (617) 624-5975 or Mary Dennehy-Colorusso by phone at (978) 851-7261 or by email at mary.dennehy-colorusso@state.ma.us. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.