Initial Health Appointment Guidelines (Medi-Cal)

Initial Health Appointment

Completing a timely Initial Health Appointment (IHA) provides an opportunity for members to establish a relationship with their primary care physician (PCP). In addition, the appointment allows members to obtain necessary health care and preventive services, which can lead to positive health outcomes and improvement in their overall health status.

All newly enrolled Blue Shield Promise Medi-Cal plan members must receive an IHA within 120 days of enrollment, as required by (APL 22-030). A minimum of two documented attempts must be made to schedule the IHA, including at least one phone call and one letter to the member.

The IHA includes, but is not limited to:

• A comprehensive health history (medical, social, family)
• Physical exam, including a systems review
• Immunizations
• Medical testing and treatment
• Health screening for common diseases
• Referrals for follow-up care

Beginning January 1, 2023, the completion of an Individual Health Education Behavioral Assessment (IHEBA), also known as an SHA (Staying Healthy Assessment form), will no longer be required as part of the IHA visit.

Blue Shield Promise is dedicated to supporting your efforts in this area. We have created an interactive tool listing IHA requirements for compliance, including a downloadable list of recommended codes for accurately documenting the IHA, and links to more resources. We encourage you to click the link below to review the training module and learn more details.

 Initial Health Appointment for Medi-Cal Members Training



Effective April 22, 2024, Blue Shield of California Promise Health plan is working with DispatchHealth® to start the IHA process in member homes.

If a member is eligible, Blue Shield Promise will coordinate with DispatchHealth to schedule an in-home health evaluation for that member. Representatives from DispatchHealth’s team of licensed healthcare professionals will go into the member’s home and complete the elements of the IHA visit that they can perform.

Once the in-home visit is completed, DispatchHealth will fax the member’s clinical information to the member’s PCP office. The PCP will then need to complete any remaining elements of the member’s IHA.

 Read the DispatchHealth IHA Overview (PDF, 299 KB)

DispatchHealth is a registered trademark of DispatchHealth Management, LLC. DispatchHealth complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Visit to learn more.


Required provider documentation of the IHA

Although there is no specific form to use, your practice is required to document provision of the IHA, or a comparable comprehensive assessment, in the patient's medical chart. You may use age-appropriate physical evaluation templates (PDF, 133 KB) to complete the documentation.


Member outreach

In our efforts to coordinate with and support our Medi-Cal network providers, Blue Shield Promise conducts outreach to all new Medi-Cal members to ensure timely access to completing an IHA. Within 120 days of enrollment, members receive phone calls and new member welcome packet notifying them of this service and encouraging them to call their PCP to schedule their IHA.


Provider outreach

We also perform outreach to our network providers to help support timely IHAs by randomly selecting practices to participate in Blue Shield Promise’s IHA Medical Record Review. For this process, we randomly select an office and ask for records (IHAs), then review and provide feedback on those submissions, using our IHA Audit Tool as a guide. To learn about the types of information we may discuss with you, we encourage you to review our IHA Audit Tool.

In addition, each month Blue Shield Promise and the IPA/medical groups that provide Medi-Cal services for Blue Shield Promise members send to their contracted PCPs a list of new Medi-Cal members who are due to receive an IHA. There are multiple ways the PCPs may receive this information, such as a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) site, website portal, secure email, or postal mail. Please contact each of the IPA/medical groups with whom your practice is contracted to provide Medi-Cal services for Blue Shield Promise members to ensure you are receiving the list by the method most beneficial to your practice.

If you have any questions about providing services or submitting claims for these members, you may also contact Blue Shield Promise Provider

Services via Live Chat after logging in at or by telephone at (800) 468-9935, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


IHA resources

• All Plan Letter 22-030 (DHCS APL 22-030)
AAP/Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices ACIP Guidelines
USPSTF Recommendations


Provider manuals

Review and download provider manuals for Cal MediConnect and Medi-Cal policies.

Access to care standards

Learn the guidelines Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan uses to ensure our members have proper access to care.

Nursing Facilities Reference Guide

Learn about the requirements for Blue Shield Promise's provider network nursing facilities.

Physician’s facility site review policy and procedures

See policies for site accessibility, fire safety and prevention, non-medical emergency procedures, medical equipment maintenance, and staff qualification requirements.

Medical record documentation standards

Learn about the requirements and standards for Blue Shield Promise member medical records.

Provider dispute resolution policy and procedures

Communicate your questions and concerns to Blue Shield Promise and learn how to appeal or dispute a claim payment.

Fraud prevention guidelines

Learn how to report suspected healthcare fraud and find prevention tips and guidelines.


Find the forms you need for authorizations, referrals, service requests, EFT enrollment, and provider disputes.

Health Care Options: (844) 580-7272  {TTY: {800) 430-7077}, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. — 6 p.m. 

For information on Blue Shield Promise plans for your health care, call the Department of Health Care Services at (800) 430-4263 {TTY: (800) 735-2922}, or visit

Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is a managed care organization, wholly owned by Blue Shield of California, offering Medi-Cal Plans.

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California Physicians’ Service DBA Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is an independent licensee of the Blue Shield Association.

The provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary.

Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan complies with applicable state laws and federal civil rights laws, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, marital status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability.

Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan cumple con las leyes estatales y las leyes federales de derechos civiles vigentes, y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, país de origen, ascedencial, religión, sexo, estado civil, genero, identidad de genero, orientación sexual, edad ni discapacidad.

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Long Beach, CA  90806

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