Press Releases

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Highmark supplying lead testing kits to pediatrician’s offices

PITTSBURGH (June 8, 2023) – To help ensure that children are being screened for lead, Highmark is supplying 19 LeadCare II Analyzer testing kits at no cost to pediatrician practices in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, where higher levels of lead have been detected and screening rates are lower for children in the CHIP program than other areas of the state.

“We are pleased to be able to provide these testing machines,” said Alexis Miller, segment president for Government Business for Highmark. “The threat of lead poisoning is very real, especially for kids in the CHIP program, through lead paint in older homes and buildings, lead pipes and even some toys and candy. So we know that it is important to screen children under the age of two to detect any levels of lead and address the source of the contamination.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to lead can seriously harm a child's health, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems. The CDC also reports that screening rates for lead in children decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The testing machines supplied by Highmark provide quick results while the child and parent are in the office with a blood sample from a finger or heel prick. Without the testing machine, pediatricians would have to give the parent a lab slip to get the test elsewhere, which can be cost-prohibitive and inconvenient.

“The LeadCare machines have allowed my office to screen more children, quickly, right in the office,” said Dr. Jeffery Kile with PAK Pediatrics in Kingston, PA. “I am able to act on those results before the child leaves their appointment and this has improved care and follow up of those with abnormal results.”

Highmark has already supplied four of the testing machines, and Miller said Highmark is in the process of sending testing machines to multiple Lehigh Valley Health Network practices and to Lebanon Valley Family Health Services.

Miller also stressed that any child coming to a pediatrician’s office that has a test machine can be screened – not just children in the CHIP program or who are Highmark members.

“These screenings are important and we want them to be available to as many children as possible,” she said. 

About Highmark Inc. 
One of America's leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of approximately 7 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit

For more information, contact

Anthony Matrisciano
Highmark Health