Washington, DC — The following is a statement from Eva Chalas, MD, FACOG, FACS, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
“Clinicians who provide care to patients covered by Medicaid are the foundation of America’s health care system. In fact, nearly half of U.S. births are covered by Medicaid, and obstetrician–gynecologists accept more new Medicaid patients than almost any other specialty. Unfortunately, because many clinicians who care for patients covered by Medicaid were left out of previous federal relief distributions, women’s health practices are facing dire financial strain, even as they work to maintain patient access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“ACOG is pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is taking steps to ensure that clinicians who care for Medicaid patients are able to receive direct financial relief so that the foundation of women’s health care remains strong during the ongoing crisis.
“Although the creation of a dedicated relief funds portal is a welcome first step to support clinicians who accept Medicaid, we urge HHS to ensure that payments are delivered expediently so that these physicians receive needed relief quickly. We also urge HHS to value care covered by Medicaid as being equal to care covered by Medicare and, in so doing, to distribute an amount of relief funds equitable to those that were previously distributed to clinicians who care for Medicare beneficiaries.
“Now more than ever we must ensure that the women’s health infrastructure in this country remains strong for the future. We urge HHS to continue to implement policies that will help obstetrics and gynecology practices endure the current financial crisis. Supporting clinicians who provide care to women so that they can keep their doors open today is essential to keeping patients healthy tomorrow.”
About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of 60,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. acog.org