The following is a message from AAP President Sally Goza, MD, FAAP.
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgeons will finally be able to access financial relief from the Provider Relief Fund. In response to AAP’s advocacy, HHS announced today that they are making approximately $15 billion available to Medicaid and CHIP providers who have been left out of previous waves of financial relief. This is welcome news that I hope will bring real, needed relief to many of you.
Since the earliest days of this pandemic, the AAP has been relentlessly pushing for pediatricians to receive timely federal financial relief. We sent multiple letters to government leaders, held regular calls with high-level HHS and White House officials, and we asked you to contact your members of Congress. Today, we were heard.
Pediatricians have risen to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring children can get needed care even when practices have faced major financial distress. This process took far longer than we had hoped for and is unlikely to reach as many pediatricians with as much financial relief as we had hoped for.
Our work continues. We need to learn additional details about exactly who is eligible and how the process will unfold. We are particularly concerned about AAP members who may have received negligible allocations from previous funds because of a small number of Medicare-eligible patients.
Your AAP is continuing to advocate for adequate emergency financial relief and other important policies to support pediatricians, including raising Medicaid payments to Medicare levels and maintaining the stability of practices as the vaccine delivery system for children.
In the next few days, you’ll be receiving detailed instructions from AAP for how to apply for this new funding, who is eligible, and a step-by-step guide to walk you through common questions.
While we had hoped this funding would come sooner, and that it would reach more of you, we want to make sure every pediatrician who is eligible knows how to apply.
For now, here is what we know:
- A new portal will open tomorrow, June 10th, for pediatricians and others to apply for this funding.
- $15 billion total has been allocated for Medicaid and CHIP providers including pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists, obstetrician-gynecologists, dentists, home- and community-based service providers, opioid treatment and behavioral health providers, and others who have not received payments from the previous Provider Relief Fund general distribution.
- If you received payment from a targeted allocation, such as for rural health clinics, you are eligible to apply to this Medicaid and CHIP funding stream.
- These funds are not first come, first served. All eligible providers who apply can expect to receive funds.
- Pediatric practices can expect to receive a payment equal to at least 2 percent of reported gross revenues from patient care. Additional payments may be allocated to account for considerations like greater loss of revenue, greater volume of Medicaid patients, or other factors.
There’s a lot we don’t yet know, including when the funding will be distributed, what the application process will entail, when and how additional funds will be allotted and distributed after the initial payment, and more.
We are tracking these details closely and we want to hear from you. Please stay in touch with us through firstname.lastname@example.org. As we have for the past few months, we will continue to work with HHS directly to share your experiences with the new portal, clarify as much as we can and share what we learn back with you.
As always, thank you for all you do for children.