Medicaid documentation requirements enacted by Congress last year have caused disruption in coverage for community health center patients, with more than 90% of all health centers surveyed reporting enrollment difficulties for patients of all ages, a new study shows.
The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services issued the report, which said that as many as 319,500 community health center patientsincluding 212,400 childrenare expected to lose Medicaid coverage as a result of the document requirements. And between 55,000 and 166,000 uninsured patients stand to lose access to care as Medicaid losses affect those centers, the report said.
In a random nationwide survey of 300 community health centers, 45% reported that enrollment and application disruption and delay have affected their ability to arrange for specialty care; 38% reported difficulties in securing healthcare access for new patients; 28% reported difficulties in arranging hospital inpatient deliveries for pregnant women; and 24% reported difficulties in securing supplies and equipment.
The report signals the danger for millions who desperately needand qualify forMedicaid coverage, and the imminent harm facing an already beleaguered healthcare safety net, said Dan Hawkins, vice president for federal, state and public affairs at the National Association of Community Health Centers, in a news release. The RCHN Community Health Foundation, a New York-based organization dedicated to supporting community health centers in the state and across the country, funded the study. -- by Jessica Zigmond