Medicaid Cuts Could Also Hurt Kids, So Says Advocacy Group
The national Medicaid program dodged funding cuts in the sequester and now an advocacy group is hoping to continue the trend as federal policy makers look to reduce the deficit.
The Children's Hospital Association has declared March as Medicaid Matters For Kids Month. Vice President Jim Kaufman says they're hoping to raise public awareness about Medicaid's importance to children's healthcare.
"One in three kids are covered by Medicaid and actually it's not just low income families. It's actually a lot of middle-class families as well, especially those kids with medically complex conditions, often rely on Medicaid to wrap around their parents commercial insurance."
Dr. Kaufman says instead of cutting Medicaid, they're hoping to work with the President and policy makers to change laws that promote cost savings through efficiencies.
Kaufman says policies don't only need to be changed to allow a regional approach to children's medical care so that rules extend beyond state boundaries but they believe rules guiding billing policies also need to be changed as well. He says 45 percent of the children covered by Medicaid in Children's Hospitals involve kids with complex medical conditions. He says some of the Children's Hospitals have run demonstrations as Medical Homes for Children with complex medical conditions.
"What they've show is that you can actually save money on how the care is provided to these kids. Unfortunately, what we need to do is change the payment structure to allow those providers more flexibility and provide services that typically not covered by the Medicaid program."
They've launched their public awareness campaign on Facebook at Speak Now For Kids and on Twitter @SpeaknowforKids
The Children's Hospital Association Represents 225 Children's Hospitals across the country.