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Why pediatricians are worried about the end of the federal COVID emergency

Kathreen Friend, a pediatric nurse practitioner in Doniphan, Missouri, works tirelessly at the Missouri Highlands clinic, which serves as the sole pediatric specialist in Ripley County. The clinic treats both insured and uninsured patients, with a significant portion being covered by Medicaid. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid enrollment in Missouri has surged, but the state's history of managing Medicaid rolls raises concerns about the impending end of the public health emergency (PHE) declaration, which suspended redetermination requirements for Medicaid eligibility. The expiration of the PHE could lead to a sudden surge in redetermination efforts, potentially causing children to lose coverage due to bureaucratic issues. Dr. Maya Moody and other pediatric advocates in Missouri are urging Medicaid patients to prepare for reapplication once the emergency declaration ends to avoid coverage gaps. Click here for article.

  • Kathreen Friend serves as the lone pediatric specialist in Ripley County, Missouri, working at the Missouri Highlands clinic, which treats both insured and uninsured patients.

  • Medicaid enrollment in Missouri has increased significantly during the pandemic, raising concerns about the state's ability to manage Medicaid rolls effectively.

  • The suspension of redetermination requirements under the public health emergency (PHE) declaration has provided continuous coverage for Medicaid recipients, but its impending end raises concerns about coverage disruptions.

  • Past issues with Medicaid management in Missouri, including the inadvertent removal of thousands of children from Medicaid in 2019, highlight the potential risks associated with resuming redetermination efforts.

  • Pediatric advocates like Dr. Maya Moody are urging Medicaid patients to be proactive about reapplying for coverage once the PHE ends to avoid coverage gaps, as lengthy processing times could delay access to care for children.

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