On behalf of 220 children’s hospitals, Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) sent a letter to congressional leaders highlighting the end of year priorities that are critical for children’s health care across the nation.
The letter outlines how Congress can best support the immediate needs of our nation’s children by:
- Making investments to address the children’s mental health emergency. In October, CHA marked the one-year anniversary of declaring a national state of emergency in child and adolescent mental health. Hospitals continue to see this firsthand in their emergency departments (EDs). As the crisis continues, there is a need for federal Medicaid investment, support for the mental health workforce and community-based systems, and dedicated funding for the pediatric mental health infrastructure.
- Bolstering support for the pediatric workforce. The Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program supports the training of more than half of the nation’s pediatric physician workforce and is essential to the continued access for children to much-needed pediatric specialists, including doctors to care for children in mental health crisis, that treat complex pediatric medical conditions and respond to viral surges such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
- Safeguarding children’s health coverage. Extending 12-month continuous eligibility for children is a critical step to reduce coverage gaps and ensure stable health care coverage for children in Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Permanently authorizing CHIP will ensure stable health coverage for millions of children and pregnant women who rely on the program.