• Talking Points
  • March 20, 2020

Support Children's Health and Children's Hospitals in COVID-19 Emergency

  • The COVID-19 emergency is placing tremendous stresses on all parts of the health care system, including children's hospitals. 
  • In addition to the significant direct costs of COVID-19-related testing and treatment borne by these hospitals, there are enormous adjacent costs. These include costs associated with diverting resources to respond to heightened community public health needs, increased procurement costs for PPE and other equipment, and lost income from the deferment/cancellation of other scheduled care and services.
  • The impact of these challenges is massive and threatens children's hospitals ability to serve their communities in this time of crisis and going forward.
  • Congress should provide direct funding to support hospitals who are on the front line of this crisis. It is critical that any federal relief to the hospital sector during this emergency be accessible by children's hospitals. The responsibilities of responding to this emergency are being met by many types of providers; access to federal support must similarly be directly available where it is needed.
  • It is also important that any emergency funding not be exclusively tied to direct treatment and also provide relief for prevention and preparation costs related to COVID-19.
  • Additionally, Congress should increase emergency investment in Medicaid, the largest provider of care to children and the backbone of the health care safety net. Additional resources for states will benefit millions of Americans and further support providers as they deal with unprecedented challenges.
  • It is also vitally important to prevent cuts to Medicaid that could undermine children's hospitals ability to deliver care during this already difficult time. We urge Congress to take action to prevent pending cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, enact MACPAC's language on DSH third-party payment and protect states from the effects of the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR).