Capitol Correspondence - 05.26.20

National Governors Association Pressures HHS to Release Emergency Funds to Medicaid Providers

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On May 19, the National Governors Association (NGA) sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting emergency funding for Medicaid. This validates requests to support Medicaid-funded disability providers, which ANCOR has lobbying for since early March, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The NGA letter requests funds for Medicaid providers and mentions long-term care providers as one of the groups needing relief – disability programs fall under the umbrella of Medicaid long-term care supports.

“On behalf of the nation’s governors, we are writing to request that the unobligated Provider Relief Funds in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the additional $75 billion included in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act be dedicated to assist health care providers that are predominantly serving Medicaid beneficiaries.

We are very concerned that providers who care for a large number of Medicaid patients in communities where COVID-19 has exposed huge disparities in health and health care are being left out. We need to ensure that our many health providers relying more heavily on Medicaid —such as safety net and children’s hospitals, critical access hospitals, rural health care providers, behavioral health providers (mental health and substance use disorder providers), long-term care providers and others—are provided relief.

We are hearing from many critical Medicaid providers in our states, who serve the 72 million Medicaid recipients, that they are at risk of closing their doors due to extraordinary costs (e.g. staffing, personal protective equipment) and loss of typical visit volume.”