WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation’s children’s hospitals thank congressional leaders for their efforts to pass the third bipartisan COVID-19 relief package providing critical financial support to hospitals, including children’s hospitals.
Alongside hospitals serving adults, children’s hospitals are working with local and state officials to increase COVID-19 surge capacity while continuing to care for severely ill children and infants. The $100 billion Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund included in the relief package will help offset the higher prevention and preparation costs children’s hospitals are incurring to support the COVID-19 emergency. Children’s hospitals also highlight the delay in cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment as an important step to keeping Medicaid strong for kids and other vulnerable populations.
Medicaid provides vital access to care for nearly 40 million children, and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure additional Medicaid funding in future relief packages, the adoption of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) recommendation on Medicaid shortfall/third-party payment, and the suspension of the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation—known as MFAR—to maintain the strength of the program at a critical time of need.
Medicaid is the largest source of health care coverage for children nationwide. Weakening Medicaid puts the entire pediatric health care system at risk. As we unite across communities with local and state government to combat the current coronavirus crisis, now is not the time to cut vital federal Medicaid funding to the states.
On behalf of the millions of patients and families we serve, children’s hospitals thank Congress for their continued support of all our nation’s hospitals in the COVID-19 public health emergency.