“A bipartisan bill introduced late last month in Washington would for the first time designate people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as a ‘medically underserved population’ [MUP] and qualify this group for additional resources under more than two dozen federal programs.
The so-called MUP designation would allow doctors to receive higher payments from Medicare and Medicaid for seeing patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It would also offer repayment of student loans for health professionals who serve this population and provide funding for research on topics affecting this group, according to U.S. Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Gregg Harper, R-Miss., who sponsored the bill known as the Healthcare Extension and Accessibility for Developmentally Disabled and Underserved Population, or HEADs Up, Act of 2018.
Research shows that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a hard time finding competent providers, have a higher rate of chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and are less likely to receive routine health screenings, according to a report by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.”
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