Community clinics worry about losing the flexibility of Medicaid

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, more than 12 million people have participated in Medicaid and Child Health Insurance programs, mainly due to changes in eligibility requirements and increases in Medicare programs. funds Make care more accessible.

Now, community health centers worry that once the public health emergency is over, these flexibility may not be sustainable, leaving many people without insurance.

According to a survey of federally qualified medical centers conducted by the Federal Medical Center in 2021, 90% of medical centers believe that the termination of the pandemic-related Medicaid policy will result in patients losing their benefits, giving up important health care services and relying on emergency treatment And emergency care department for treatment. National Association of Community Health Centers.

NACHC Federal and State Policy Director Jeremy Crandall (Jeremy Crandall) said that the lack of Medicaid flexibility may mean that medical centers will not be able to continue their current service and care delivery methods.

Crandall said: “When children and adults have more access to preventive care, it can prevent the disease from getting worse.”

As part of the “Family First Coronavirus Response Act” passed in March 2020, states’ federal Medicaid assistance percentages began to increase by 6.2%, and they were prohibited from withdrawing from Medicaid programs during public health emergencies.

This ultimately led to the registration of Medicaid and CHIP 17.1% increase, According to data from the Medicare and Medicaid Service Center.

Crandall said that before the pandemic, 48% of medical center patients were beneficiaries of Medicaid and CHIP, and most medical centers reported that the number of Medicaid patients increased by 25% during the pandemic.

Across the country, there are 1,400 community-oriented provider clinics serving nearly 29 million people, including one-fifth of Medicaid beneficiaries and one-third of the poor.

Sarah Baizer, director of research policy at NACHC, said that enrollment protection enables more working families, disadvantaged groups and patients with chronic diseases to experience primary and preventive care at a lower cost.

When choosing the pandemic-era Medicaid policy that would have the greatest impact on patients, 96% of NACHC survey respondents chose telemedicine flexibility, and 72% of respondents listed the additional benefits that federally qualified medical centers can provide. Service forward-looking payment system charges, 52% of respondents expressed continued concern about the matching rate of federal Medicaid.

To protect underserved patients after the pandemic is over, NACHC recommends that Congress extend the key “Affordable Care Act” market subsidy and registration period to limit cost sharing, reduce insurance premiums, and provide coverage for low-income groups, while also investing in foreign investment. Development, registration, and a navigator for people in the Medicaid coverage gap, Baizer said.

Other areas currently being considered by Congress include: providing states with more information about gradually reducing the percentage increase in federal Medicaid; extending the time for states to complete pending eligibility and registration actions; and requiring states to provide for those who are deemed ineligible for Medicaid. Additional re-decisions; and ensure that the state-authorized medical assistance for the elderly, homes and rural residents only audio telemedicine services can continue after a public health emergency.

The Health Center said that if any of these protective measures are cancelled, it may lead to more uninsured patients, patients who cannot get treatment face danger to their lives, medical expenses fluctuate, and medical expenses drop. COVID-19 testing and vaccination.

Bezel said: “Almost all medical centers use the flexibility of the Medicaid program to provide more services to patients who would otherwise not receive care.” “In the absence of these flexibility, patients may be in the emergency department. Seek treatment.”

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